Farmers have been urged to participate in an initiative to keep paddocks ‘Free for February’ to minimise the risk of diseases, rust and pests.
South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) pathologist Dr High Wallwork said if all growers keep their paddocks bare for the month, the risk of rusts, pests and other diseases would reduce significantly.
“Growers must be vigilant and look for rust-susceptible weeds and crop volunteers not only in paddocks, but along fence lines, around sheds and silos. At least a month of no green growth is required to prevent disease survival,” he said.
“The reason the month of February is key is that some regions are still harvesting in January, and some growers want early feed in March, so February is the best chance for a full pest and disease break.”
For more information on rust resistance ratings, visit www.rustbust.com.au.