Crown rot in winter cereals

Published: 9 Feb 2016

Rotations, observations and testing key to crown rot control

Three top tips to stop crown rot: rotate crops, observe plants for browning at the base of tillers and test stubble and soil.

Key points

  • Rotate crops. This is the most important management option. A grass-free break from winter cereals is the best way to lower crown rot inoculum levels.
  • Observe. Check plants for browning at the base of infected tillers as this is the most reliable indicator of crown rot. Don’t rely solely on whiteheads as an indicator (Figures 2, 3, 4, 5). More detail in ‘The disease’, page 4.
  • Test. A pre-sowing PreDicta B™ soil test will identify paddocks at risk of crown rot.
  • Sow winter cereals, particularly durum, into paddocks where the risk is lowest.
  • Choosing more resistant crop varieties can help but still need to be combined with effective management.
  • There are many in-paddock actions that can reduce yield losses (pages 2–4).
  • Keeping crown rot inoculum at low levels is the most effective way to reduce yield loss from this disease.

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Region: North; South; West