Rust in peace: Monitoring disease in cereal crops

Hello! Welcome to my first blog. I hope to blog weekly throughout the spring to update you on crop disease levels and general life at AHDB. In my spare time I also help out with sheep, so they may get the odd mention too.

I’ve been with AHDB since last August, after a few years working at a field trials company. I now work on the Recommended List (RL) disease ratings and manage some of AHDB’s disease research projects on cereals and oilseed rape.

This week, I was at the annual UK Cereal Pathogen Virulence Survey (UKCPVS) event at NIAB in Cambridge. We heard details of the groups of isolates which contributed to yellow rust resistance breaking down in some varieties in the 2016 season. The yellow rust population is keeping us all on our toes at the moment and several new groups were identified last season too, so it is important to monitor crops. If you see unusual levels of rust on cereals, please get in touch. We’d like a sample so we can get to the bottom of what’s going on.

You can find out more about what was said at the UKCPVS event here.

Now the snow has melted, we can see what awaits us in the crops beneath. But remember, if you find yellow rust now in a variety with a high Recommended List disease rating, this does not mean it will be a problem as the season progresses – all but three varieties are susceptible at the seedling stage and, if all goes to plan, the adult plant resistance will kick in and do as good a job as a fungicide.

If disease levels are uncomfortably high and a T0 is used to target yellow rust alone, avoid using an azole as this will help select for resistant septoria isolates, even if only low levels of septoria are around. A strobilurin would be best.

See you next week!

Follow me on Twitter @CatherineGar4

Catherine Garman

Catherine Garman

Catherine is Crop Health & Protection Scientist (Diseases) at AHDB

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