GRDC launches Sclerotinia control study
The Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation is to fund a collaborative study focusing on the lifecycle of the fungal pathogen, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, that causes Sclerotinia stem rot in canola. The project seeks to determine optimum times for fungicide applications used to improve control of the disease. Participants include the Western Australia state Department of Agriculture and Food, the agricultural consultancy company, Planfarm (Perth), and agronomists. The disease is on the increase in canola and lupins in West Australia’s north grain belt, says project supervisor and agronomist Richard Quinlan of Planfarm. Infection levels of up to 40% have been seen in some canola fields, reducing yields by 30-40%, he adds.