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Wet Weather Brings Disease Worry for Queensland Wheat Growers

20 September 2012

AUSTRALIA - Forecast wet weather has raised disease concerns for Queensland wheat growers who planted their winter crops late.

But it's not a clear cut case for control, with a variety of diseases producing the same symptoms, reports ABCRural.

Even consultants are finding it hard to pinpoint a course of action, and incorrect identification of could prove an expensive mistake.

Dr Stephen Neate, from the Leslie Research Facility, says frost, yellow spot and leaf-tip necrosis are all presenting very similar symptoms.

"There's a lot of people more on the risk averse side that believe if it looks like yellow spot we should go out and spray," he said.

"A spray could cost you ten or fifteen dollars for the chemical plus the application cost per hectare.

"They've wasted that money if it's due to frost or it's due to leaf-tip necrosis."

But not all growers are worried, with earlier crops nearly ready for harvest and past being susceptible to those diseases. Darren Jenson used a different planting technique that meant he didn't have to wait for moisture, like many of his no-till counterparts.

Mr Jenson has 1,700 hectares of grains at Grandview outside Biloela in central Queensland and says his early wheat is looking promising both in quality and yield.

He says the stronger price makes him confident he'll make a good return on investment this year. "We are expecting to get a fair bit of prime hard, if not H2," he said.

"As soon as wheat hit A$300 a tonne we started selling."

TheCropSite News Desk

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