Tasmanian canola growers asses blackleg disease levels

A STEP AHEAD: Dr Steve Marcroft assesses blackleg disease. Photo: Brad Collis
A STEP AHEAD: Dr Steve Marcroft assesses blackleg disease. Photo: Brad Collis

Tasmanian canola growers are assessing blackleg disease in crops this spring to reduce the risk next year.

Blackleg is a sexually reproducing pathogen that will overcome cultivar resistance genes and is more severe in areas of intensive canola production.

Disease levels can be assessed through samples taken any time from the end of flowering to windrowing, oilseeds disease expert Steve Marcroft said.

“Pull 60 randomly chosen stalks out of the ground, cut off the roots with a pair of secateurs and estimate the amount of disease in the stem cross-section,” Dr Marcroft said.

“Yield loss commonly occurs when more than 50 per cent of the cross-section of the cut stem is discoloured,” he said.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation released the 2017 Spring Blackleg Management Guide Fact Sheet, developed by the National Canola Pathology Project team.

The guide is available at grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-BlacklegManagementGuide