The state’s canola growers are being warned of the threat of blackleg, with weather conditions having created a “perfect storm” for the destructive disease.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Blackleg disease models have suggested spore showers have occurred, coinciding with canola crops at the seedling stages and enhancing the risk of infection.
Blackleg is considered the most serious disease of canola in Australia, with crops at a greater risk of severe infection and death up until the six-leaf stage.
Bayer Crop Science Australia southern WA customer advisory representative Craig White said the delayed start to the season and cooler conditions had produced smaller crops that were at risk of being hit by the infection.
“I would urge growers to take a close look at the disease ratings of the canola varieties grown and their crop rotation risk,” he said.
“Then assess whether a foliar fungicide application was required.”
Mr White said Bayer’s recently released Aviator Xpro foliar fungicide had proven to be a strong option in the fight against blackleg disease.
Mr White said trials from across the state had shown the highest levels of blackleg control were achieved through a combination of foliar application of Aviator Xpro and an effective blackleg seed treatment.
“This multiple fungicide application strategy really paid off under high blackleg pressure,” he said.
“Aviator Xpro extended the disease protection and reduced blackleg infection, helping to maximise yield.”
The fungicide has also been approved for aerial application and has additional registrations across wheat, barley and pulses.