Diseases a cause for crop concern

Diseases a cause for crop concern

Cropping
Local agronomists have expressed concern about in-crop diseases seen this season.

Local agronomists have expressed concern about in-crop diseases seen this season.

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Recent rain followed by warmer weather has increased disease pressure in crops across the state.

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THE recent rain followed by warmer weather in the past few weeks has increased disease pressure in legume crops, particularly chocolate spot in beans, according to Nutrien Ag Solutions Naracoorte agronomist James Heffernan.

"We have been closely monitoring crops and spraying when needed," he said.

"But it isn't bad by any means."

Mr Heffernan said the disease risk in cereals was also high, with powdery mildew found this week.

"We are not super concerned about it, but it isn't something we normally see, so conditions must be ideal for disease," he said.

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On the Yorke Peninsula, Growers Supplies Warooka agronomist James Chard agreed disease pressure was high, with chocolate spot in beans, ascochyta blight and botrytis in lentils, leaf rust in barley and powdery mildew in wheat.

"The joys of being in the wet country at the bottom of the peninsula," he said.

"It will be a watch and act in cereals as most have had their full fungicide program. Lentils and beans will probably get done again, particularly in the south.

"We don't really need any more rain."

In the Mallee, Elders Loxton agronomist Brian Lynch said ascochyta blight in chickpeas was also of concern, particularly long-season varieties, but recent rains weren't expected to do much other crop damage.

"There are not too many crops here ripe enough that diseases have become an issue," he said.

"There will be more concern if it keeps raining in a few weeks' time, when harvest starts in earnest."

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