Grains Research and Development

Date: 08.06.2016

Rust prevention requires proactive decisions

Author: Natalie Lee

A heavy infection of wheat stripe rust in the field.

A heavy infection of wheat stripe rust in the field. Stripe rust can cause losses of 60-80 per cent in susceptible to very susceptible wheat varieties.

New resources are available to help grain growers manage wheat rust diseases, stressing the importance of monitoring crops to detect any infections at the earliest stage possible.

Now available are Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Tips and Tactics publications for wheat leaf rust, stem rust and stripe rust, which have the potential to slash farm incomes during an outbreak.

GRDC General Manager Crop Protection Ken Young said careful monitoring of crops was crucial and identification of rust infections in the previous year could help determine the threat of rust and other diseases in the following season.

“If rusts were found in adjacent paddocks last year, strict management guidelines involving the planting of resistant varieties and other control measures should be employed,” he said.

Dr Young said the entire wheat industry, from grain growers through to breeders and the seed industry, needed to be on the front foot and growers should work collaboratively to ensure regional control of the ‘green bridge’ and management of the disease.

“With variances from season to season, prevention of a devastating outbreak requires proactive decisions throughout the year,” he said.

“If you have a rust outbreak, inform your neighbours, agronomist and state plant pathologist,” he said.

The Tips and Tactics publications, available at this link, include information about conditions that favour the diseases; disease identification; management strategies; frequently asked questions; submitting a suspected rust sample; and links to further information.

The Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP), based at the University of Sydney, is one of the GRDC’s core investments to monitor, assess and develop a rust management strategy for Australian growers.

In 2011, the ACRCP consultative committee launched the Rust Bust campaign which supports growers and advisers by providing information and tools on how to proactively manage rust.

The campaign website, which can be accessed by following this link is an information hub on rust prevention and management strategies.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Ken Young, GRDC
02 6166 4500


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code SBM00003

Region North, West