*Information on crown rot symptoms and management is available in the article Crown rot in winter cereals
During 2015 and 2016 there were low levels of crown rot in many wheat paddocks in the low to medium rainfall zones of WA. The severe level of disease experienced during the 2014 season in areas like Merredin and Salmon Gums did not occur during these two years. PREDICTA® B testing of soils in autumn 2017 indicated many paddocks in the Kwinana East and Geraldton port zones had a high risk of developing crown rot this year. Expression of crown rot symptoms was evident in wheat and some barley crops towards late October around Merredin and Yilgarn. These symptoms were particularly noticeable on medium to heavy soil types in these shires.
Growers with paddocks containing whiteheads or patchy poor growth are advised to check for the presence of disease. In the past, DPIRD has confirmed fairly high levels of whitehead development, mainly in the medium rainfall regions of WA, caused predominantly by a different fungal disease called take-all. This highlights the importance of correct identification of the issue causing production of whiteheads with the potential risk that disease symptoms can even sometimes be confused with frost or pest damage (e.g. mice). Plant samples can be sent to the DPIRD Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DDSL) to definitively identify any root and crown disease issues.
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Further information on crown rot
- Choosing the best yielding wheat and barley variety under high crown rot – 2017 GRDC Updates Paper
- Agribusiness Crop Updates 2015 | Perth | Crown rot: Reducing losses – 2016 GRDC Updates video
- PestFax Newsletter for alerts and current information on diseases including crown rot
Steven Simpfendorfer, NSW DPI