Cereal crop symptoms caused by the disease rhizoctonia bare patch can be confused with similar symptoms caused by root lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus) and other subsoil constraints.
Rhizoctonia-affected crops sown early into warm soil might not show bare patches, but can simply become uneven during winter as rhizoctonia attacks the crown roots.
It is estimated the disease – caused by the fungal root pathogen Rhizoctonia solani AG8 – reduces Western Australia’s wheat and barley yields by 1 to 5 per cent annually, equating to about $27 million in losses.
Its incidence is likely to be high in parts of WA this year on the back of sustained dry summer and autumn conditions.
Up-to-date management information and links to resources about rhizoctonia can be found at the new Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Hot Topic Managing rhizoctonia bare patch in WA available at www.grdc.com.au/RhizoctoniaBarePatchWA.
Caption: Wheat seedling roots infected by Rhizoctonia.
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827
GRDC Project Code
DAS00122, DAS00123, DAS00125, CSE00150, DAW00174, UWA00152