[ASC-media] Stop the rot! New research is putting the lid on onion white rot
youna at castro.com.au
Fri Sep 28 03:07:24 CEST 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stop the rot! New research is putting the lid on onion white rot
Australian onion growers are one step closer to managing the
destructive effects of onion white rot, following trials
investigating suitable post-plant applications for the prevention of
the disease. The research, conducted by Tasmania-based research
provider Peracto Pty Ltd, has the potential to improve the long-term
sustainability of onion production and boost profits for growers
Onion white rot, Sclerotium cepivorum, is the most widespread and
destructive disease affecting onions and other Allium crops. This
persistent, soil-borne fungus has been known to cause complete crop
loss, and is found in most onion growing regions in Australia.
According to Dr Hoong Pung, Senior Researcher with Peracto, onion
white rot is known to survive for more than 15 years in the soil,
making it extremely difficult to control or eradicate.
“To date, growers may be able to manage the disease if a field is
known to be infected prior to planting. Onion white rot can be
controlled with reasonable success with fungicides incorporated at
the sowing stage, if the fungus level is not too high,” said Hoong.
“However, if fungus levels are high, these fungicide applications
only provide partial control. Growers who discover white rot later
currently have no management options.”
Recently Hoong’s research team conducted field trials in
Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania to identify potential new post-
plant fungicide treatments. Eleven fungicide products were evaluated.
“We found that two products, Bayfidan EC (triadimenol) and Filan WG
(boscalid), gave the most consistent disease control, and are
potentially suitable fungicide alternatives. However, further
research into application timing, methods and field conditions is
required before conclusive recommendations can be made.”
The team is also investigating alternative treatments to be applied
at the sowing stage. Growers in Tasmania have mainly relied on
Folicur (tebuconazole) applied at sowing.
“This method gives good early disease control for up to 200 days, but
poor control has been noted at less than 100 days. We are
investigating this inconsistency,” said Hoong
For more information, visit the Peracto website www.peracto.com.au.
For media enquiries, contact:
Dr. Hoong Pung, Principal Research Scientist,
Peracto Pty Ltd,
16 Hillcrest Road, Devonport, Tasmania. 7310. Australia
Ph: +61 3 6423 2044 Fax: +61 3 6423 4876 Mob: 0409 400 063
hpung at peracto.com.au
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