GRDC Soilborne Pathogens

Soilborne Pathogen Identification and Management Strategies for Winter Cereals

Project Partners:

GRDC, FarmLink, Birchip Cropping Group, Grower Group Alliance

Project Code:


Project Duration: 


Project Location:

NSW, Victoria, WA


Soilborne pathogens are a widespread problem across the Western, Southern and the winter dominant, cereal growing areas in the Northern region of Australia.
A number of reports indicate that growers often rely on above-ground crop symptoms to diagnose issues. This is problematic as the above-ground health of the crop can often be a poor indicator of root health. It is essential that growers are aware of alternate methods of identification, and are encouraged to use diagnostic services (such as PredictaB), so they have the ability to implement the correct management strategies to avoid crop yield losses from soilborne pathogens.
This investment will test localised soilborne disease management strategies utilising large plot, non-replicated demonstration sites across the Western, Southern and Northern winter dominant, cereal growing regions, following correct pathogen identification.
FarmLink, Birchip Cropping Group and Grower Group Alliance will collaborate with cereal pathologists, other groups and contractors to deliver a coordinated ‘set’ of 14 knowledge, identification and diagnosis workshops in 2020. These will inform subsequent (non-replicated) demonstration trials in 2021 of practices for pathogen management. These sites will then be planted as confirmatory demonstrations with a cereal crop in 2022.
The project is a national project with participation from AgVic, USQ, NSW DPI, SARDI, DPIRD, CSIRO and SAGI.
The project is split into modules with module leaders:
1. Soil borne disease interaction (Owen, USQ)
2. Novel control options for soilborne diseases, a feasibility study (Simpfendorfer, NSWDPI)
3. Abiotic interactions with soilborne diseases (Huberli, DPIRD)
4. Benchmark soilborne disease threats to pulse and oilseed crops (McKay, SARDI)
5. Communication (Hollaway, AgVic)