CropAlert Newsletter – Seasonal Update October 2022

CropAlert Newsletter – Seasonal Update October 2022

There are high levels of crop disease this year across Victoria. The focus should now shift to protecting pulse crops during podding and sourcing clean seed for 2023.

In this newsletter

  1. Disease update
  2. Useful resources
  3. Upcoming events
  4. Update your CropSafe kit


Disease Update


Stripe rust is the main concern in wheat crops and we are seeing slightly increased infection levels in some resistant varieties that may indicate new pathotypes.  Please submit samples of rust to the Australian Rust survey if you are seeing active stripe rust infections in resistant varieties.  Stripe rust is still actively infecting crops and late rain is likely to lead to head infections. This means that a ‘head wash’ fungicide application may be beneficial, with the greatest benefit when fungicides are applied during late ear emergence and pre-flowering. Crops past early flowering and are unlikely to see much yield benefit from fungicide applications to control rust at this late stage.

There have been increased reportings of loose smut in barley. Head emergence is the perfect time to assess barley crops for loose smut and make decisions on whether the seed is clean to retain for next year or if new seed is needed.


Crops past 50% bloom have passed the stage where fungicides can be applied to control disease, however, pods are still at risk of Blackleg and Alternaria infection this season. Growers need to be aware that this pod infection can result in seed abortion, discolouration, and pod shattering issues. There are no management options available to reduce the infection this late in the season, however, growers can plan to grow next year’s canola away from paddocks that have been infected this year.

Pulse crop disease management

It has been a difficult year for managing pulse diseases. At this stage it is important to look at the economics of continued disease management and the crop’s end use. It is important to remember harvest withholding periods with late fungicide applications and follow label directions to ensure you are within the maximum residual limits (MRLs).

Growers may wish to consider not continuing fungicide control or terminating pulse crops that have severe disease infection. Hay/seed quality may also have been lost and the crop may provide a better economic outcome through early termination.

For crops that are to be taken to seed, consider the impact of disease on seed quality, both for marketing/sale ability and sowing next year. It will be important to ensure you have clean seed for 2023 sowing, to reduce inoculum carryover and maximise plant vigour. Fungicides applications to protect pods from disease will be important, especially during this season when disease pressure is high in all regions.

Sclerotinia white mould has also been observed in a range of pulse crops across the state and those looking for up to date management information should see the article Sclerotinia in Victorian Pulses – Field Crop Diseases Victoria.


Useful Resources

Identification and Management of Victorian Field Crop Diseases – eBook now available

The book ‘Identification and Management of Field Crop Diseases in Victoria’ is now available as an eBook on Apple books. For those with an android device please find attached the EPUB file plus the instructions on how to add the book to Google Play books.

2022 Disease guides

The 2022 Victorian Cereal and Pulse Disease Guides are available from Apple books or the Agriculture Victoria. These guides provide access to the latest disease ratings. Download them from:

Cereal Disease Guide on Apple Books or the AgVic website

Pulse Disease Guide on  Apple Books or the AgVic website

Canola blackleg ratings can be found in the blackleg management guide or in the BlacklegCM app.

Apps for managing crop disease

New apps for iPads and Tablets have been released over the last few years to help with the management of blackleg and sclerotinia in canola and stripe rust and yellow leaf spot of wheat. These apps are BlacklegCM, UCI BlacklegCM, SclerotiniaCM, YellowSpotWM and StripeRustWM, respectively.

These apps help identify management strategies, such as cultivar choice, fungicide application, and/or paddock choice, that can be used to minimise yield loss due to the disease and improve economic returns. The apps are available for free download from the Google Play Store and iTunes Store by searching for the app name.


Upcoming events

Wimmera Pulse Field Day – POSTPONED to Nov 8th

Register here: Wimmera Pulse Field Day 2022

When: 9am Tuesday November 8th

Where: 30km North of Horsham on Blue Ribbon Road, next to the Murra Warra wind farm

GPS: -36.446639, 142.227722

About: Visit the new hub site and hear about

  • Lentil, Chickpea, Field Pea, Faba Bean and Vetch varieties and agronomy
  • New herbicide tolerance traits
  • Disease management options
  • Optimising sowing dates for lentils and beans and implications for frost
  • Managing pod drop in lentils with varieties and agronomy
  • Marketing options in pulses

PREDICTA®B workshops

When: 8:30am to 4:30pm – Nov 15th (Bendigo) and 16th (Horsham)

Where: Horsham and Bendigo

Register here: Bendigo or Horsham

About: New and experienced agronomists are invited to attend the 2022 PREDICTA®B Root Disease Risk Management course to build or refresh their skills and knowledge on soilborne diseases.

The course also provides accreditation for delivering PREDICTA®B – the DNA-based soil testing service which enables growers to identify the pathogens posing greatest risk to their farm.

The course will cover:

  • The main soilborne diseases for the region e.g., Rhizoctonia and crown rot
  • Interpreting and understanding PREDICTA®B results
  • Using PREDICTA®B to make better informed variety, rotation, and paddock management decisions
  • Yield loss risk categories for established tests and population density categories for new tests
  • Management strategies
  • Soil sampling strategies
  • Rhizobia (rNod) testing and sampling


Update Your CropSafe Kit

To refresh your sample bags or sample submission forms please fill out the 2022 CropSafe Kit survey

If your agronomy company has new starters (or agronomists that may not be aware of CropSafe) that would like to join the CropSafe network they can also use this form to join the network.

For anyone wishing to know more about CropSafe, please visit or contact [email protected]


Further information

Field Crop Diseases Victoria

The website hosts articles, videos, and podcasts from leading crop disease researchers in Victoria. This is where the most recent research updates are likely to be found.

The “Identification and management of field crop diseases in Victoria” manual can also be found under the resources tab.


The Australian Cereal Rust Survey

For pathotype maps and sample submission guidelines please visit the Australian Cereal Rust Survey.

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