Bondi Junction NSW, Australia
Fact Sheets
Sugarcane smut (474)
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds
Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds


  • Worldwide distribution. In Australia; note, report from Fiji incorrect.
  • Serious disease, often occurring in cycles: epidemics followed by minor importance. Infected plants weak, grass-like, stunted with narrow leaves and many tillers. Characteristically, shoots become black spores-bearing whip-like structures.
  • Lower buds infected by fungal spores from soil. Subsequently, sets planted and fungus grows within them.
  • Spread: infected sets and spores on the wind. Possibly, spores on machinery, footwear. Survival in soil for 3-4 months.
  • Biosecurity: follow FAO guidelines for international movement of sugarcane. 
  • Cultural control: deep ploughing or irrigation of fields after outbreaks; hot water treatment (52oC for 30 minutes or 50oC for 3 hours); rogueing.
  • Chemical control: fungicides (flutriafol or propiconazole) after hot water treatment in commercial operations.

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