Sugar cane smut disease was first detected in Australia in 1998 in the Ord River. It was found at Childers in June 2006 and is believed to have been there at least two years prior to this. Smut disease was detected in the field in November 2009 at Condong Mill, in April 2010 at Harwood and in March 2011 at Broadwater. Sugarcane smut disease is now present in all Australian cane growing regions.
Now that smut is in NSW it highlights the importance of increasing the area of smut resistant or tolerant varieties on your farm (varieties with a smut rating of 7 or less).
The key to smut control is:
- plant resistant varieties
- regularly source clean seed
- removal of heavily infected blocks
More info on smut, see the links below:
Results of the recent Sugarcane Smut Survey are available here: Sugarcane smut survey - 2017