Crown Rot - Southern

Published: 1 Oct 2019

Crown rot is an important stubbleborne fungal disease of cereals that is common in Victorian and South Australian crops. During seasons with below-average rainfall it causes whiteheads to develop in wheat crops resulting in yield losses from about five per cent to more than 20 per cent. Yield losses in durum wheat are much greater than in bread wheat and can be more than 50 per cent.

Key points for management

  • TEST. Know your paddocks’ crown rot risk level. A pre-sowing PREDICTA® B soil test will identify paddocks at risk
  • INSPECT. Observe cereal crops for symptoms. Check plants for browning at the base of infected tillers as this is the most reliable indicator of crown rot. Do not rely solely on whiteheads as an indicator
  • INOCULUM LEVELS. Maintaining crown rot inoculum at low levels is the most effective way to reduce yield loss
  • ROTATE CROPS. Rotate at-risk paddocks to non-host crops. This is the most effective management option. A grass-free break from winter cereals is the best way to
    lower crown rot inoculum levels
  • RESISTANCE. Choose cereal crops carefully. Sow winter cereals, particularly durum, into paddocks where the risk is lowest. Selecting more resistant cereal types
    and varieties can help but still needs to be combined with other management options
  • PADDOCK MANAGEMENT. Withinpaddock management decisions can affect crown rot inoculum levels. Decisions such as time of sowing, crop choice, inter-row
    sowing and crop nutrition affect the impact of crown rot on yield and grain quality.

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Region: South