What plants are affected?
Rice blast can affect most of the rice plant with the exception of the roots. The fungus can infect plants at any growth stage.
What do I look for?
Symptoms can be either lesions or spots. Their shape, colour and size vary depending on varietal resistance, environmental conditions and the age of the lesions.
The pathogen infects and produces lesions on the following parts of the rice plant: leaf (leaf blast), leaf collar (collar blast), culm, culm nodes, panicle neck node (neck rot) and panicle (panicle blast).
What damage can this disease cause?
Rice blast is the most important disease of rice worldwide. Under favourable conditions, the disease can results in total crop failure.
What do I do if I find it?
The disease is known to occur in Western Australia. However, it is a notifiable disease within the New South Wales Rice Pest and Disease Exclusion Zone (RPDEZ). This disease is not a notifiable pest outside the exclusion zone.
The RPDEZ includes the shires of Balranald, Berrigan, Carathool, Conargo, Corowa, Deniliquin, Griffith, Hay, Jerilderie, Leeton, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Urana and Wakool. Contact the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries for further information.
How can I control this disease?
Control options are currently very limited within Australia. Overseas rice blast control relies on using resistant rice varieties and/or using registered foliar fungicides. See the APVMA website for current chemical options.