A Blueberry Rust Project, under the supervision of Associate Professor Kara Barry is being undertaken by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, NSW Department of Agriculture and Staphyt. The aim of the project is to find crop protectants that are acceptable to organically accredited blueberry growers and will effectively prevent or control blueberry rust (caused by Thekopsora minima). Blueberry rust is currently under containment in Tasmania with surveillance ongoing to support fruit export
The research is screening a range of organic products or treatments for their efficacy against blueberry rust. These will be benchmarked against conventional industry standard fungicides. The findings will be relevant to both organic and conventional growers of blueberries.
The initial product screening trial is underway in the glasshouse, at DAF in, Queensland. This first trial is nearing completion and a second screening trial will commence shortly. Pot trials will be undertaken in NSW under field conditions. The trial will move to commercial sites in Tasmania as the project progresses.
The project is funded by the Tasmanian Government’s Agricultural Innovation Fund.
Photos: Blueberry Rust Project