MOST grain growers were thrilled with the good autumn rain, but there has been a downside – an increase in yellow dwarf virus (YDV) in cereal crops.
Agriculture Victoria announced there had been a spike in YDV this year, particularly in the Wimmera and southern Mallee, while officials in other states are also closely monitoring the situation.
YDVs are a group of closely related virus species that infect cereals such as wheat, barley, oats, triticale and grasses, with barley YDV the best known to farmers.
These widespread viruses can cause yield losses of up to 80 per cent when plants are infected early in the growing season.
Ag Vic molecular epidemiologist Narelle Nancarrow said the virus…