Pilot study on beet western yellows virus
15 June 2016
Beet western yellows virus (BWYV) can be a devastating disease, affecting canola and pulse production.
Depending on crop type and time of infection, this aphid-transmitted virus can substantially reduce yield and quality of the crop.
Agriculture Victoria research scientists Frank Henry and Dr Mohammad Aftab are conducting a pilot study across the high rainfall zone of south-western Victoria, to determine the virus presence in the green bridge and how it might affect emerging new season crops.
"As part of this pilot survey, samples were collected from 11 spring 2015 winter canola crops during April and May 2016," Mr Henry said.
"The samples were tested for BWYV in the laboratory at Agriculture Victoria Horsham. During the survey, the crops were also inspected for the presence of aphids.
"Although turnip aphids were found on six of the 11 crops, there were no green peach aphids found in any of the crops surveyed."
Mr Henry said this is good news because the green peach aphid is the principal transmitter of this virus, while the turnip aphid is less crucial.
"As a result of the survey, we don't expect aphids from 2015 spring sown winter canola crops to spread the virus into this season's canola crops."
However, agronomists and farmers are advised to monitor crops regularly for aphids, as aphids can travel hundreds of kilometres on the wind.
Mr Henry and Dr Aftab will monitor aphid flights using sticky traps in canola crops; these traps will be assessed once a week for aphid numbers and species.
Mr Henry said farmers and agronomists will be advised when aphid flights occur.
"Seed treated with neonicotinoid insecticides will provide four to five weeks protection against aphids after sowing."
The Regional Research Agronomist and Virology programs are funded by the Victorian Government and Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) as part of their five-year bilateral research agreement.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity