It can pay to spray

POWDERY mildew was about the only foliar disease to affect barley in the northern region in 2001, according to Queensland Department of Primary Industries pathologist Greg Platz. Mr Platz told a field day audience that, while disease outbreaks were not to be expected every year, the trend to stubble retention under zero-till/conservation farming practices pointed to the likelihood of more problems with diseases like the spot form of net blotch, "the yellow spot of barley", in wetter growing seasons. Management and rotations could limit disease problems, and research carried out at Hermitage Research Station in 1999 had shown fungicides could give good control of blotch. An unsprayed control plot affected by blotch had yielded 3.4 tlha of grain with high screenings while barley sprayed once had yielded 4.3 tlha (a 27 per cent increase) and a plot with a complete spray program yielded 5.43 tlha (up 60 per cent).

Program 3 Contact: Mr Greg Platz 07 4661 2944

Region North, South, West