Experts gather to talk about growing season disease pressures

Experts gather to talk about growing season disease pressures

A Grain Producers SA (GPSA) led meeting was recently held in Adelaide with a range of disease experts to discuss significant challenges created by the wet conditions ahead of harvest.

The ‘Crop Disease Roundtable’ brought together almost 30 disease experts including researchers, agronomists, plant breeders, plant pathologists and key grain industry stakeholders, focusing on the increasing presence of wheat powdery mildew and faba bean chocolate spot.

GPSA Chief Executive Officer Brad Perry said the roundtable was called to bring industry experts together into the same room to discuss opportunities to proactively combat disease pressures.

“The persistent and consistent rainfall across South Australia in the lead-up to harvest has created unique challenges when it comes to disease,” said Mr Perry.

“With a near record harvest, larger than normal areas have been impacted by mildew and chocolate spot, which is likely to reduce yield and impact quality.

“The disease challenges require a co-ordinated approach, not just for the short term but for the long term, and the roundtable discussed a number of initiatives to better understand what can be proactively done.”

GPSA grower Director and agronomist Nick Hillier, who chaired the roundtable, said seasonal conditions have exacerbated the proliferation of powdery mildew and chocolate spot.

“The wet and often humid conditions have really challenged grain producers this season when it comes to disease management,” said Mr Hillier.

“The roundtable today was a positive step forward for industry working together on ways to better understand these diseases and find solutions for coming seasons.

“We need to continue to build on genetic resistance to disease, keep developing more effective, sustainable fungicides and use innovative measures to find solutions for these diseases.”

The ‘Crop Disease Roundtable’ is planning to meet again following harvest.

Grain Producers SA is the peak industry body representing the 4,500 grain farming businesses in South Australia.