Monitoring lupins and other crops made easier

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A new photograph on an updated MyCrop app, showing the bleached and distorted heads of frost damaged plants at booting versus a healthy head.

GINGIN grain growers monitoring lupins and other crops for signs of pests, diseases and frost can take advantage of an updated MyCrop app.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has enhanced its MyCrop suite of apps and webpages with some new high quality photographs of frost damage and incorporated the latest data from the 2018 wheat and barley variety guides.

Development officer Andrew Blake said the additional frost photographs have been added to the MyCrop wheat, barley, canola and pulses apps to assist growers to identify frost damage.

Mr Blake said the apps did not require the internet to operate, once downloaded, so farmers could compare crop damage in the paddock with the photographs on their smart phone or mobile device, or later from the farm office computer.

“Frost damage can easily be confused with similar symptoms resulting from disease or crop nutrition deficiencies, such as take-all and copper deficiency,” he said.

“The new, extreme close-up pictures clearly show the different ways frost can impact on a plant, which includes a detailed description of the damage and what to look for.

“There have been isolated reports of frost damage across the central and southern agricultural regions this year, with the frost window expected to last until late-September to early-October, due to the delayed start to the growing season.

“This tool will enable growers who are not familiar with frost symptoms to clarify whether the damage is caused by frost or not, especially when used in conjunction with our extreme weather event online tool to identify the likelihood that frost conditions have occurred.”

The updated MyCrop app includes the latest profiles of current wheat and barley varieties, as well as pest and disease ratings for each variety.

The functionality of the MyCrop apps for wheat, barley, canola, oats and pulses, which includes field peas and lupins, has also been improved, making several areas easier to navigate.

There have been more than 4000 downloads of the suite of apps since it was developed by the department, with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation, in 2013.

Mr Blake said MyCrop was an essential tool for all grain growers and agronomists, providing a virtual library of valuable crop management information.

“MyCrop harnesses hundreds of valuable factsheets on a huge range of crop constraints, including pests and diseases, crop nutrition, herbicide damage, heat stress and more.

“The information links directly to other useful tools, such as PestFax reporting app, to overcome constraints, and information on how to monitor crops for various diseases.”

Growers who have already downloaded MyCrop app will receive a prompt to update the app, automatically.

To access MyCrop online or to download one of the suite of apps, visit agric.wa.gov.au and search for mycrop or download the apps directly from iTunes and Google Play.