CropAlert Newsletter Pre-Season Update March 2017

CropAlert Newsletter Pre-Season Update March 2017

Crop disease pressure will be high this year favoured by the excellent start and carry over of disease from last year’s bumper season. Stubble borne diseases, such as spot form of net blotch and yellow leaf spot, will have higher inoculum loads and soil borne diseases  (rhizoctonia, root lesion nematode etc) will also have increased. Therefore, a proactive approach to disease management will be important this year. Below is some information about useful prediction tools, phone apps and pre-season updates to help plan for the management of crop diseases this coming season.

Blackspot Manager for field peas

Field pea growers can use the Blackspot Manager to select sowing dates that reduce the risk from the fungal disease blackspot (syn. Ascochyta blight). Updates are available at Further  information about the manager can be found here.

Rainfall has reduced the blackspot risk in many parts of the state, however areas in the northern Mallee, such as, Hopetoun and Swan Hill, continue at a medium risk. Continued rain in these areas is expected to reduce the risk, but check the Blackspot Manager for updates.  Blackspot Manager is produced by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and fortnightly forecasts are available between May and June. Updates can be accessed on  the DAFWA Blackspot Manager 2017 here.

A free SMS or e-mail blackspot alert service is also available. To subscribe, text blackspot, your name, and nearest weather station or location to 0475 959 932 or email [email protected]

Practices to reduce risk if sowing in a high or medium risk period:

  • Do not sow adjacent to field pea stubble.
  • Sow into paddocks with at least a four year rotation of field pea.
  • If the potential yield is over 2t/ha, then use P-Pickel T seed treatment and if the conditions are conducive for disease apply mancozeb (2kg/ha) at the 9-nodes stage and again at early flowering (SARDI Field pea disease management guide).

Further information on blackspot management:
Ag Note – Ascochyta Blight of Field Peas – Crop Disease Manual, Ascochyta Blight of Field peas

Pre-season disease updates

Know what to expect this season. Pre-season disease updates are available for cereals, oilseeds and pulses at

Diagnostic tools

Not quite sure what that disease is? A range of online tools and smartphone apps are now available to help identify crop diseases. These have been developed with help from Australian plant pathologists and researchers. Further information can be found at
The Victorian Crop Disease Manual can be found online at for identification and management information for crop diseases. The manual is produced by leading plant pathologists.

GrowNotesTM Alert

Subscribe to GrowNotesTM Alert to receive high-priority alerts for pest, weed, and disease threats -straight to your phone or email! Developed by Agriculture Victoria, in collaboration with the GRDC, GrowNotesTM Alert is a free subscriber-based system which allows you to personalise the alerts you receive by crop type and location. With three zoned twitter channels for each GRDC region (@GNAlertSouth, @GNAlertNorth, @GNAlertWest), you can easily stay up-to-date on URGENT, ACTIONABLE and ECONOMICALLY IMPORTANT alerts across your region. E-mail [email protected] for further information.

Sample submission via GrowNotesTM Alert This year growers and agronomists can also use the GrowNotesTM Alert App or GrowNotesTM Alert web portal to send in photos of pests and diseases in crops to add to the industry surveillance data as well as sending in happy  snaps of healthy crops to help generate area of freedom data. These photos will be assessed by experts and feedback provided. So please submit plenty of photos this growing season and encourage your growers to do the same.

Sample submission

A reminder to send in diseased plant samples to CropSafe for any suspected exotics or unidentified disease. Send samples via express post. Do not post samples on a Thursday or Friday as they may spend the weekend at the post office, rather keep them in the fridge and post  on Monday. Wrap a damp piece of paper towel around plant samples and place in a plastic bag. Complete the sample submission form but do not place in the plastic bag with the plant sample.

Send samples addressed to:

Private Bag 260
Horsham Vic 3401

If you know of anyone who would like to receive Crop Alert, then send them a copy and ask them to contact the CropSafe team to be put on to our mailing list. Alternatively, if you do not wish to receive further Crop Alerts, then just email [email protected] and you  will be removed from the mail list. Crop Alert is supported by Agriculture Victoria and the GRDC. 

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