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Vigilance urged against canola virus

Echuca-Moama canola farmers are being urged to remain vigilant against the beet western yellow virus — which has seriously damaged crops in South Australia.

RHIANNON HORRELL August 18, 2014 5:32pm
Echuca-Moama canola farmers are being urged to remain vigilant against the beet western yellow virus — which has seriously damaged crops in South Australia.
 
Grains Research and Development Corporation southern regional panel member Geoff McLeod said there’d also been reports of the virus in southern NSW. 
 
He said $315,000 has been made available to better understand the impact of the virus on canola crops and how to avoid it.
 
‘‘The virus is spread by aphids. There was a lot of aphids active in autumn as we had an uncharacteristically warm autumn.’’
 
The beet western yellow virus was discussed at a GRDC forum in Moama at the end of July, and Mr McLeod said some farmers were aware of the virus but weren’t familiar with the impacts.
 
Department of Environment and Primary Industries pathology staff and virologists are working with agricultural consultants to assess the extent of the virus in Victorian canola crops.
 
‘‘Beet western yellow virus can cause losses in seed yield and oil content, with symptoms showing two to five weeks after infection,’’ Pathologist Frank Henry said.
 
He said DEPI Victoria’s Cropsafe program has been testing dozens of canola samples submitted by agronomists from Victoria and South Australia. 
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