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Reduced fungicide use on a new Australian peanut cultivar, highly resistant to the late leaf spot and rust pathogens


Rust (caused by Puccinia arachidis) and late leaf spot (LLS, caused by Mycosphaerella berkeleyi) can cause significant yield losses in Australian peanut crops. Until recently, all commercial peanut varieties were highly susceptible to these pathogens, but the new Australian cultivar Sutherland has significantly higher levels of resistance than the older cultivars. Field trials were conducted at two sites in Queensland to (a) confirm the improved resistance of cv. Sutherland over another commercial cultivar, Menzies, (b) study the effects of timing of first spray, spray interval and cultivar on disease severity and yield, and (c) develop a suitable fungicide management program for cv. Sutherland. In the 2006 and 2007 trials, rust and LLS developed slower and had lower final disease ratings and AUDPC values on unsprayed plots of cv. Sutherland than on cv. Menzies. The timing of the first spray is critical in managing both rust and late leaf spot, with the results demonstrating that the first fungicide spray on cv. Sutherland should be applied as soon as rust and LLS are first seen on cv. Menzies. In most trials spray intervals of 14 days or 21 days were suitable to effectively control rust and LLS. In years with low disease pressure, few, if any, fungicide applications will be needed to manage the diseases, but in other years up to four sprays may be necessary.

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The authors thank the Grains Research and Development Corporation for funding this research, staff at Bundaberg Research Station and Kairi Research Stations for technical assistance and Ms Carole Wright and Ms Susan Fletcher for biometrics support.

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Correspondence to Malcolm J. Ryley.

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Kelly, L.A., Ryley, M.J., Trevorrow, P.R. et al. Reduced fungicide use on a new Australian peanut cultivar, highly resistant to the late leaf spot and rust pathogens. Australasian Plant Pathol. 41, 359–373 (2012).

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