NSW cereal growers have been urged to take advantage of a no-cost disease testing service now available for 2017 planting seed.
NSW DPI senior plant pathologist Steven Simpfendorfer said wheat, durum and barley planting seed could be tested for the presence of Fusarium spp infection.
Dr Simpfendorfer said although Fusarium head blight (FHB) was present at very low levels in 2016 it could still cause issues if grain retained for sowing was infected with Fusarium spp.
‘‘Some seed treatments can reduce levels of Fusarium spp infection but grain with levels of Fusarium spp of more than 20 per cent should be avoided and an alternative reduced disease seed source considered,’’ he said.
‘‘In some cases, seed harvested in 2015 (a season that did not favour FHB infection) could be a better option for planting in 2017 and growers can also submit older seed if they are unsure of the quality.’’
To submit a sample, collect about 500g of grain in a plastic zip-lock bag.
Ensure the bag is clearly labelled with the following details: name, trading name, contact phone number, email, agronomist’s contact details, variety, year of harvest, location and silo details.
Post samples to: Dr Steven Simpfendorfer, NSW DPI, 4 Marsden Park Rd, Tamworth, NSW, 2340.