The Victorian Wimmera-Mallee region received some of its best spring rain in decades, causing widespread outbreaks of the previously rare crop disease, Sclerotinia. Regular rainfall events and cool growing conditions throughout the season saw excellent canola establishment, with large, robust plants developing on good moisture profiles creating dense crop canopies. These large crops favoured disease development by creating the perfect micro-climate for disease proliferation. Resulting infections ranged from early stem infections through to serious pod infections in un-diagnosed crops. Pod infections were of high concern because not only did they cause yield loss, but they could potentially contaminate uninfected grain.
John Barbetti, State Sales Manager VIC/SA, reported; ‘Once the early signs of Sclerotinia were present, we had to take immediate action to ensure reasonable supplies of fungicide would be available for growers. Based on our experience in Western Australia, we knew applications of the fungicide Imtrade Nosclex 800 WG would be effective if applied at early disease onset’. Due to Imtrade Australia’s development of a high-loading WG product, Imtrade Nosclex 800 WG was able to be rapidly and efficiently sourced and shipped to vulnerable areas across the country in a timely fashion.
With a high canola planting anticipated for the 2017 season, it is imperative that growers and consultants take a pro-active approach to breaking the Sclerotinia lifecycle. Identifying high risk paddocks, removing potential volunteer and weed hosts and employing a strategic rotation program is imperative to the successful management of this disease.
Further information on Sclerotinia can be found here