Esperance Barley crop sample fungicide resistance

Grain growers are being urged to implement disease management strategies for barley crops, after the discovery of fungicide resistance in local crop samples from 2017.

An analysis of crop samples from several paddocks in the Esperance and South Stirling regions detected the resistance to some Group 3 DeMethylation Inhibitors fungicides.

The samples, collected by research officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, were screened for resistance by the Centre for Crop and Disease Management.

The Centre’s Fungicide Resistance Group leader Fran Lopez-Ruiz said the level of resistance in barley paddocks for this season was uncertain and the group were now focused on understanding the extent of the problem in susceptible areas.

Dr Lopez-Ruiz said he hoped the news would act as a reminder to growers and advisers to apply a fungicide application plan within their disease management strategies for the coming season. 

“Collectively, we all have a role to play in protecting the longevity of our fungicides by using them responsibly, regardless of whether fungicide resistance is present in our own backyards or not,” he said.  

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development plant pathologist Geoff Thomas said the department regularly monitor and take samples of crop diseases within the state to remain aware of new or emerging crop disease issues.

“Samples are tested and submitted to collaborating groups for additional testing when there are concerns about poor disease control by fungicide,” he said.

For growers with resistance, or suspected resistance, Dr Lopez-Ruiz recommended avoiding consecutive applications of the same Group 3 fungicide active in one season, unless mixed with a different mode of action. 

Dr Lopez-Ruiz also advised growers to adhere to the recommended application methods, to choose mixtures with different modes of action and to alternate fungicides.

With more research to be carried out into the fungicide resistance, Dr Lopez-Ruiz encouraged growers to send green plant samples of net blotches from across Australia this coming season.

“This will help us better understand and monitor the extent of the situation and the frequency of the resistance nationally,” he said.

The research will be discussed at the upcoming Grains Research and Development Corporation Grains Research Update convention at Crown Perth on February 26 and 27.

For more information, contact the state's Grain Industry Association on (08) 6262 2128 or via researchupdates@giwa.org.au