By Grant Hollaway (Department of Economic Development) and Stuart McColl (BCG).
- Yield loss due to crown rot was greatest in durum wheat and least in barley.
- A PreDicta B soil test can be used to identify crown rot levels prior to sowing and inform crop choices to minimise loss.
Prior to the 1990s, crown rot was regarded as a relatively minor disease in Victoria. Since then, intensification of cereals and adoption of stubble retention practices in the cropping system has favoured the carry-over of this stubble borne disease (Hollaway and Exell 2010).
In 2014 a trial was established at Quambatook in the Mallee to evaluate a range of cereals (wheat, barley, triticale and durum) for their performance in the presence of crown rot inoculum.
Crown rot is a potentially damaging disease in Victoria’s Wimmera and Mallee. In paddocks with medium to high levels of crown rot, losses can be reduced by growing barley in preference to wheat, noting that barley will still increase inoculum levels.