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Faba Bean Rust Alert for Australia's Crops This Season

01 May 2012
GRDC

AUSTRALIA - Serious outbreaks of rust in faba bean crops throughout South Australia and Victoria in 2011 have underlined the need for vigilant management of the disease this coming season.

SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) pulse industry specialist, Larn McMurray, says growers should be aware that high inoculum levels may have persisted through the recent mild summer.

Mr McMurray, whose work is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), said monitoring of crops for rust should start in early August and fungicide should be applied at the first sign of rust.

“Rust has a relatively long latent period but high inoculum potential so responding to symptoms in established crops may be too late,” Mr McMurray said.

“Effective fungicides applied early will result in better control. Early control of rust is important in disrupting the cycle of spore generation and to prevent further spread in the crop.”

Mr McMurray said favourable conditions led to early infections in some crops during August last year, which resulted in severe outbreaks in spring that reduced yields and seed quality.

He said results from field trials conducted by Pulse Breeding Australia’s Faba Bean Breeding program at Saddleworth (SA) in 2011 showed yield was significantly reduced as cultivar/line susceptibility increased.

“Several advanced breeding lines were high yielding and exhibited good resistance levels to the disease.”

When conditions are favourable (such as warm temperatures combined with high humidity) rust will spread rapidly across districts.

Growers are therefore encouraged to report outbreaks to local agronomists or the SARDI pulse pathology laboratory which will inform industry via the Crop Watch electronic newsletter and social media service which is provided by SARDI and supported by the GRDC.

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