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    INSIGHT: Alan McKay is pictured leading a workshop for agronomists in Perth.

AgLife: Disease course in Horsham

A soilborne-disease course in Horsham on November 11 will provide the latest information to regional agronomists to help growers minimise on-farm production losses.

Cereal root diseases cost growers, on average, more than $200-million annually in lost production, and much of this loss can be prevented.

The one-day course provides accreditation for delivering PREDICTA B – world-leading DNA-based soil-testing technology which enables identification of pathogens posing the greatest crop risk.

A Grains Research and Development Corporation investment, PREDICTA B is provided by the South Australian Research and Development Institute, a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA, PIRSA.



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In recent years there has been an expansion in the range of tests provided by the service, with each soil sample now tested for up to 20 soil and stubble-borne pathogens. 

The most recent additions to the test include the foliar diseases yellow leaf spot in wheat and Sclerotinia stem rot in canola and pulses.

Leader of South Australian Research and Development Institute’s soil biology and molecular diagnostics group Alan McKay, a leading course presenter, said a feature of this year’s events would be an update on a national pulse root-disease survey.

“This survey was instigated following several reports of southern region pulse-crop failures in 2017, due to suspected root rot disease, which prompted further investigations of soilborne diseases of pulses,” he said.

“Initial results suggest that pulse-root diseases have been underestimated in Australian farming systems and that the risk has increased in areas where pulses are frequently included in the cropping sequence.”

 The Horsham course will focus on Rhizoctonia root rot, Pratylenchus, yellow leaf spot and crown root.

Other course topics include interpreting and understanding PREDICTA B results; using PREDICTA B to make better informed variety, rotation and paddock-management decisions; yield-loss risk categories for established tests and population density categories for new tests; disease management options; soilborne diseases in dry times; and soil sampling strategies.

Other soilborne-disease courses will be in Adelaide, Wagga Wagga and Perth.

People seeking more information or to register can visit website tickets.agcommunicators.com.au/agc/PredictB19/.

The entire October 30, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire October 30, 2019 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!