Cereal root diseases could severely reduce 1996 crop yields, according to Frank Henry of Agriculture Victoria. Speaking at a research update seminar at Walpeup, Mr Henry said he expected take-all to cause moderate damage this season, particularly if there was a wet spring. Farmers could minimise this by having paddocks tested for the take-all fungus.
"Use the bio-assay test for take-all and a one-year break to control it," he said. Mr Henry also advocated bio-assay testing for cereal cyst nematodes which were likely to be a serious threat to crops in 1996. He suggested the following management strategies in 1996:
- Crown rot — control with rotations, tillage and stubble
- Rhizoctonia — short autumn chemical fallow, then cultivate the week before sowing
- Arno Bay Blotch of barley — use rotations and resistant varieties (Galleon is the best)
- Stripe rust — use resistant varieties and seed dressings.
Contact: Mr Frank Henry 053 62 2111