As good as the endless rain was this winter, unfortunately, it also meant there were excellent breeding conditions for disease. Our agronomists found a broad spectrum of diseases across all crops, and fungicides were running out the door. We suggested keeping an eye out for the below in your crops.
Low levels of Septoria are showing up in young wheat crops, with significantly more infection in wheat-on-wheat paddocks. Scepter and Mace are at the highest risks; however, the disease is also being seen in most other varieties. Ensure early fungicides are applied to reduce inoculum build-up and keep lower leaves clean from disease. An early fungicide will also protect against Eyespot, Leaf Rust and Stripe Rust.
Keep a close eye out for Powdery Mildew in Chief and Scepter varieties as the conditions warm and canopies close over. If the moisture continues, this disease will spread rapidly and cause significant damage if left unchecked.
Both Net Form and Spot Form Net Blotch have been prevalent in most barley varieties and paddocks. Early applications of propiconazole have protected barley sufficiently. But all paddocks will likely need a second fungicide application closer to flag leaf or -1 flag leaf.
Maximus has been better than Spartacus and hasn’t displayed anywhere near as much early Blotch, but it is still worth applying a preventative fungicide if doing a pass.
We are seeing blackleg in canola in most paddocks, with recent weather conditions again favouring the disease. Most paddocks have required a fungicide application, whether with a grass spray or going out by itself. With canola prices still relatively high, it is a no brainer to have a protection application on your crop, especially with the weather outlook staying wet. The increase in blackleg occurrence could be caused by a breakdown of resistance in the varieties. However, most of the new varieties are coming out with multiple resistance genes in them.
Chocolate Spot has been found in most paddocks, which has meant for an early fungicide along with a grass spray and, in some cases, paddocks already having a second fungicide. So far, there have been low levels of Ascochyta Blight and Cercospora Leaf Spot in the Mid North – which is good news as this is usually a hot spot. However, it is still crucial to stay on top of your preventative fungicide program and prevent these diseases from entering your paddock. It would be best if you were well and truly looking at getting onto a second prevention spray for your beans once you can get onto your paddocks.
Asochyta is prevalent, and as expected, pressure is highest in paddocks with short rotation, i.e. lentils/wheat/lentils, lentils on lentils extremely high pressure. Plan for at least 2-3 sprays depending on region and rainfall. If doing a late grass spray, look to chuck in some Mancozeb or Veritas Opti.
Ascochyta blight is disease number one, and it would be common that the majority of chickpea crops have already received their first preventive fungicide. As this disease can be very aggressive and damaging, early protection is essential. Don’t wait to see the disease. Put in place a preventative spray.
Interestingly, seeds treated with Metalaxyl-M (Axy-M/Apron) are not experiencing the Downy Mildew issues that those weren’t are.
Most crops without seed dressing are seeing Downey Mildew, so check and take preventative measures. Look to target early sown crops or high yielding crops with Mancozeb or Veritas Opti for black spot control. Keep an eye out for late powdery mildew in warmer conditions and apply a tebuconazole or Turrett for cost-effective control.
If you need help identifying what may be in your paddock, give us a call.
Remember, in wet misty conditions it is crucial to stay on top of your fungicide program and not let diseases enter into the crop. Prevention is always going to be better than a cure.