Produced with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the annual crop disease guides detail how new and commonly grown wheat, barley, oats, triticale, lentil, chickpea, field pea, faba bean, lupin and vetch varieties will react to a range of crop diseases.
Agriculture Victoria senior research scientist, Joshua Fanning, said the ratings are developed nationally and released in February, providing the most up to date information for Victorian growers.
Dr Fanning said a reasonably wet spring during 2020 was conducive for many diseases including botrytis grey mould in vetch and lentil and chocolate spot in faba bean. The later rainfall also caused chickpea ascochyta blight pod infection in some crops.
"The significant disease symptoms observed during 2020 will allow for greater disease carryover into this year.
"To reduce the disease pressure on 2021 crops, growers should avoid planting the same crops in the same paddocks or adjacent paddocks where there was a high disease load during 2020," Dr Fanning said.
For cereal growers, the Cereal Disease Guide, provides updated information on crop disease ratings and advice on how to reduce the risk from fungicide resistance.
Agriculture Victoria senior research scientist, Grant Hollaway said cereal diseases will need proactive management during 2021 as there will be disease carry over on both volunteer cereals growing over summer and on stubble.
"The wetter conditions during summer will increase the risk posed by rust and aphid spread viruses due to the green bridge," Dr Holloway said.
"Soil-borne diseases are a risk to cereals, so growers should test prior to sowing to identify paddocks at risk and inform what crop or variety should be sown."
Dr Hollaway said resistance to fungicides is becoming an increasing threat to cereal crops across Australia.
"There are strategies that growers can adopt to slow the development of resistance in pathogen populations and therefore extend the longevity of the limited range of fungicides available.
"These include avoiding susceptible crop varieties, rotating crops, using non-chemical methods to reduce disease pressure, spraying only if necessary and applying strategically and rotating and mixing fungicides."
The ratings provided in the pulse and cereal disease guides are based on an understanding of the diseases present in Victoria and on data collected from plant pathologists working across Australia with support from the GRDC.
The 2021 Pulse and Cereal Disease Guides are available on the Agriculture Victoria website.