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About CropAlert

 

What is CropAlert for Blackleg?

CropAlert from Bayer Crop Science helps growers and advisors manage fungal disease in canola.

Understanding when risk of disease infection is high is important for a proactive disease control program in canola and CropAlert assists growers and advisors to do this.

CropAlert for blackleg is based on the blackleg sporacle model for predicting onset of seasonal ascospore showers emanating from canola residues (see below). The model utilises daily weather data and future weather scenarios to predict the likely commencement of seasonal blackleg infection period in canola. A simple postcode input returns a predicted ascospore maturation risk rating for blackleg. Each postcode is aligned to a weather station in that locality and weather data is available for all Australian postcode locations.

CropAlert is an indicative tool whereby the level of alert is given by a colour code depending on the likelihood of blackleg spore showers having commenced (spore maturation and release) from previous seasons’ canola stubble. Yellow indicates a low probability of a spore shower occurring, orange indicates commencement of ascospore development and red indicates spore showers are likely to have commenced or are imminent, hence risk of blackleg infection is high if canola is at a susceptible stage of development (see below).

CropAlert provides growers with a mitigated vs unmitigated % risk of disease infection based on the agronomic input factors provided by the user.

It must be noted that CropAlert is a tool, and should not be solely relied upon in the decision making process for disease control. Growers should always seek advice from a qualified agronomist or advisor when deciding on disease control options for blackleg.

 

Using CropAlert for Blackleg

CropAlert is based on the Blackleg Sporacle model1 developed through research undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia (DPIRD)2, with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). We gratefully acknowledge DPIRD co-operation. The model predicts the maturity date of blackleg pseudothecia and hence ascospore release by utilising accumulated daily rainfall and temperature data.

As the predicted spore maturation develops, the pointer on the scale moves from low (yellow) through medium (orange) to high (red). Once the scale is showing red, a blackleg spore release is imminent or has commenced. Prior to this time the forward date for the potential spore release is also shown based on rain predictions of greater than 4 mm per week or per fortnight.

CropAlert provides growers with a mitigated vs unmitigated % risk of disease infection based on the agronomic input factors provided by the user.

 

Example Results


 

The risk in locations where blackleg spores have not yet matured can change as the season progresses. Growers and advisors should regularly check the scale closer to the forward projected commencement of spore release to monitor changes in disease risk status.

In predicting onset of ascospore release CropAlert can help to improve strategies for management of yield loss caused by blackleg in canola. These strategies include altering sowing date (provided weather and farm-work schedules permit sowing), varietal selection and chemical protection (seed treatment and/or foliar spray treatment) according to the risk of ascospore release during the two to eight leaf period when canola is most susceptible. For example this tool can help appraise risk from black leg after crop establishment for varieties with inadequate resistance, established without fungicide protection at seeding.

Whether a foliar fungicide such as Aviator Xpro or Prosaro is needed or not is determined by many factors including the growth stage of the canola crop, seed treatments applied, variety resistance etc. Both the GRDC Blackleg Management Guide and the Aviator Xpro Fact Sheet provide excellent guidance in the decision as to whether there is value in applying a fungicide

1Blackleg Sporacle: A Model for Predicting Onset of Pseudothecia Maturity and Seasonal Ascospore Showers in Relation to Blackleg of Canola. M. U. Salam, R. K. Khangura, A. J. Diggle, and M. J. Barbetti. Phytopathology 93: 1073-1081 (dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO.2003.93.9.1073)

2Salam et. Al. (2007) Plant Pathology 56: 412-423

3Khangura, Ravjit K, Moin U Salam, and Bill MacLeod. "Future DIrections of Blackleg Management - Dynamics of Blackleg Susceptibiilty in Canola Varieties." edited by Wayne Parker, 146-148. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, 2007.Khangura, Ravjit K, Moin U Salam, and Bill MacLeod. "Future DIrections of Blackleg Management - Dynamics of Blackleg Susceptibiilty in Canola Varieties." edited by Wayne Parker, 146-148. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, 2007.

4Canola Crop Phenology for Advisors. CropPro. http://www.croppro.com.au/cb_pages/canola_crop_phenology.php

5The APSIM canola model. https://www.apsim.info/Documentation/Model,CropandSoil/CropModuleDocumentation/Canola.aspx

6Important disclaimer: The Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australian Agriculture Authority and the State of Western Australia accept no liability whatsoever by reason of negligence or otherwise arising from the use of CropAlert, Blackleg Sporacle model or this website; the release of this information or any part of it; or the use of any product or procedure recommended by this website.
The GRDC does not endorse or recommend the products referred to. Other products may perform as well or better than those specifically referred to. Any recommendations, suggestions or opinions contained in CropAlert, Blackleg Sporacle model or this website, do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the GRDC. No person should act on the basis of the contents of CropAlert or this website without first obtaining specific, independent professional advice. The GRDC will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information in this app. All chemical applications must accord with the currently registered label for the product, crop, pest and region.
The Blackleg Sporacle model is owned by the Western Australian Agriculture Authority and the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

 

What is CropAlert for Sclerotinia?

CropAlert for sclerotinia gives growers visibility on the numbers of hours per day that their specific area is considered high risk of a sporacle shower based on local weather information. It also provides a forecast of what the disease risk level is likely to be 48 hours in advance. This knowledge will allow growers to take action and spray their crops for fungicide protection.

 

Using CropAlert for Sclerotinia

For a sclerotinia petal infection to occur the canola plant needs to be flowering. This is the critical period for potential infection. The underlying disease model assumes the presence of apothecia and the release of ascospores is occurring in the field. Sclerotinia has a short plant infection period under the right climatic conditions.

Less frequent crop rotation for canola (selected on the start page) increases the infection threshold for the canola plant (assumes a lower likelihood of infection based on less ascospores being released in the paddock). The sclerotinia model selects a standard 3-year crop rotation unless a shorter crop rotation is chosen instead.

Similar to the blackleg model, the colours on the chart represent the potential risk of infection based on time (24 hours per day) and the illustrates the risk per hour into low, medium and high ranges e.g. 12 hours in a low risk period, 8 hours in a medium risk period and 4 hours in a high risk period. As the risk and threat of infection grows the bar chart changes to reflect this. Once a significant number of hours per day is showing red, conditions conducive for a potential sclerotinia infection have already occurred.

Fig. 2. CropAlert - Sclerotinia 

 

The model determines conditions that are conducive to petal and stem infection in canola based on hourly forecasts of relative humidity and temperature. The model runs on an hourly basis and as conditions for sclerotinia petal infection can develop very rapidly it is worth checking the site on a regular basis to evaluate risk.

A foliar fungicide such as Aviator Xpro is highly effective against sclerotinia in canola. The risk and presence of sclerotinia disease is determined by many factors including the number of years since the last canola crop, disease incidence in the last crop and the growth stage of canola. The Aviator Xpro Sclerotinia Fact Sheet provides an excellent guide for determining the value of a fungicide application.

Sclerotinia has become an increasing threat to canola in Australia in recent years. Growers, advisors and industry researchers have strongly indicated a need and desire to have a simple sclerotinia disease model available which indicates when sclerotinia outbreaks are likely to occur in order to support their fungicide spraying decisions in an efficient and timely way.