CSD expands availability of Fusarium tolerant seed

03 December, 2002

Cotton Seed Distributors has announced that it will expand the availability of a major new variety, Sicot 289RRi, in response to demand for more fusarium tolerant varieties. p. __

CSD general manager, Adam Kay, said 289RRi was the only Roundup Ready® variety available with a final fusarium ranking above 100, which is the level of CSD’s best performing benchmark variety, Sicot 189.

“Breeders and plant pathologists have been warning the industry for years, that we cannot continue to grow varieties that are susceptible to either fusarium of verticillium wilt as they will only facilitate the resurgence and spread of these diseases.

“Fusarium has spread in both severity and distance, and is now a major threat to the cotton industry,” Adam Kay said.

Surveys conducted during the 2001-02 season show that the number of farms in NSW reporting fusarium expanded by more than one-third to around 60 individual farms.

“NSW is clearly at the onset of an epidemic of fusarium wilt. Further spread is inevitable, but efforts to minimise this spread should not be relaxed,” the survey team concluded.

They also noted that if the trend for declining use of more resistant varieties continues, the severity of verticillium wilt will also increase accordingly.

CSD extension and development agronomist at Goondiwindi, Greg Kauter, (Pictured above in a field of Sicot 289RRi last season), said the impact of disease in the past season had been reduced by a hot, dry period mid-season, but he warned that no two seasons are generally the same.

“Higher priority must be given to greater use of more tolerant varieties; less use of more susceptible varieties; and the concurrent implementation of integrated disease management programs to minimise the spread of pathogens.

“Varieties with significantly improved fusarium and verticillium tolerance are fortunately, now available from CSD, and more importantly, we are able to rank them in terms of their survival against these diseases.

“This is particularly important when selecting Roundup Ready® varieties, which are expanding rapidly in use, exceeding 20 per cent of the crop last season.

“Sicot 289RRi is the standout Roundup Ready® variety, combining INGARD® and Roundup Ready® attributes with good yields, fibre quality and disease resistance,”Greg Kauter said.

Further Information: Robert Eveleigh, John Marshall, Greg Kauter or Craig McDonald