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Growers get new app to help make decisions about Stripe rust control

DPIRD principal research scientist Art Diggle, left, Grant Hollaway, from Agriculture Victoria, and GRDC Crop Protection Manager - South, Ruth Peek, have worked on a new StripeRustWM app - released at the recent GRDC Grains Research Update in Bendigo, Victoria. It is designed to help growers with decision-making about spraying for Stripe rust.
Photo: GRDC

Australian grain growers have access to a new tool to support in-crop decision-making for the management of Stripe rust in wheat.

The StripeRustWM tablet-based app was launched at the GRDC Grains Research Update in Bendigo, Victoria.

StripeRustWM estimates potential losses using information including:

  • variety resistance rating;
  • plant growth stage;
  • fungicide history;
  • presence of rust - either within the crop or in the district;
  • climatic conditions; and
  • expected yield and economics.

Developed in a collaboration led by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), with contributions from Agriculture Victoria and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries - and co-investment from the GRDC - the app is suitable for wheat growers across Australia.

Know what you are dealing with

Stripe rust, caused by a fungal pathogen, is a devastating disease of wheat.

In Australia, the annual cost of yield loss caused by the disease is about $120 million - in addition to an estimated $150 million in chemical control.

In launching the app at the GRDC Grains Research Update, DPIRD principal research scientist Art Diggle said the app was designed for use during the growing season to assist crucial treatment decisions, using evidence-based information to estimate the likely returns from spraying for Stripe rust for individual paddock scenarios.

How it works

"StripeRustWM is simple to use and easy to navigate, requiring the user to input individual paddock data, as well as expected weather conditions," Dr Diggle said.

"A forecasting model is then used to generate the predicted return from a fungicide treatment, in dollars per hectare - highlighting the probability of a negative or positive return.

"The user can select from several alternative visual representations of the predicted results to suit themselves, including tables and graphs.

"The app compares expected yield, predicted loss to Stripe rust and anticipated net return for the cases where fungicide is not applied, is applied once, or is applied twice."

Dr Diggle said StripeRustWM was developed using data and information from national pathology research projects over the past 30 years.

The app also builds on the pioneering work by researcher Gordon Murray and his team in developing the RustMan decision support model in the 1990s.

The app will be updated annually with the latest research findings so that new information can be utilised by industry as soon as available.

StripeRustWM is available at no cost for iPads or Android tablets from the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching for StripeRustWM.

A suite of tools

The app is a part of DPIRD and the GRDC's collaborative Crop Management series, which also includes the BlacklegCM and SclerotiniaCM apps for canola disease management and the PowderyMildewMBM mungbean management app.

The apps are designed to help identify the most effective and profitable disease management strategies for growers.

GRDC manager diseases, Friday Obanor, said the new Strip rust app would assist growers in making informed and economically feasible decisions on managing Stripe rust.

"StripeRustWM is designed for quick and easy use in the field, to guide profitable decisions about stripe rust management," Dr Obanor said.

"It will certainly give growers and consultants more confidence in determining whether to invest in spraying for this disease."

GRDC Research Code 9176863

More Information: StripeRustWM - search for 'mobile app centre' on

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