Dr Kith Jayasena, GRDC supported plant pathologist with DAFWA at Albany, has urged WA growers to be vigilant in checking barley crops for barley leaf rust and adopt a ‘no-nonsense’ approach if found.
He said barley leaf rust had been found in two South Stirling commercial crops and growers finding the pin-sized orange rust pustules on barley leaves would have to spray to protect their crops, as most varieties are susceptible.
“The lifecycle of the fungus is short and it goes through population cycles very fast and therefore gets out of control quickly.
“The last time we had an outbreak in WA was in 2006 and it had serious consequences for yield and quality,” he said.
Dr Jayasena advises growers to have suspected rust checked for free by DAFWA at AGWEST Plant Laboratories (Tel 9368 3721).
Information on rust and strategic management is available from www.grdc.com.au/rustlinks
GRDC Code: DAW00159