Extending new knowledge on soilborne diseases in SA

image of Alan McKay
Alan McKay, the leader of SARDI’s Soil Biology and Molecular Diagnostics group, says components of the two PREDICTA®B Root Disease Risk Management courses in SA will cover crop symptoms, host range, effects of season, management strategies and paddock follow up. Photo: Alistair Lawson

The latest knowledge on soilborne diseases, which can cause significant losses in cereal crops if not managed appropriately, will be extended to South Australian agronomists next month.

The 2020 PREDICTA®B Root Disease Risk Management courses in Adelaide and Keith will feature the key modules on Rhizoctonia and crown rot and their effective identification and management.

The courses are being offered through a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment and are presented by the SA Department of Primary Industries and Regions research division, the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

Alan McKay, the leader of SARDI’s Soil Biology and Molecular Diagnostics group, says components of the two PREDICTA®B Root Disease Risk Management courses will cover cereal crop symptoms, host range, effects of season, management strategies and paddock follow up.

“The 2019 and 2020 growing seasons presented interesting soilborne disease pressures across the southern region, so both agronomists and growers will be provided with updates on management options,” Dr McKay said.

“Many growers observed more bare patches this year, not all of which were caused by Rhizoctonia. This was linked to the unusual seasonal conditions in 2020.

“Our team will present on the disease pressures, yield loss risk categories and management of Rhizoctonia and other diseases, which will assist decisions prior to sowing,” he said.

The courses will also feature the release of a new test for rhizobia. The rhizobia test will be marketed as a separate service – PREDICTA® Rnod – which will assist growers and advisers to determine if inoculation is likely to be beneficial in faba beans, lentils, vetches and field peas.

The new rhizobia test was developed through a strategic partnership between the GRDC and SARDI.

The one-day courses provide accreditation for delivering PREDICTA® B and PREDICTA® Rnod. These DNA-based soil testing services enable growers to identify the main soilborne disease risks and requirements for rhizobia inoculant purchases in preparation for sowing in 2021.

Participants will receive a hard copy of the latest agronomist service manual, access to the electronic form of the manual, and an AccuCore soil sampler.

Courses will be held in:

  • Adelaide (Charles Hawker Conference Centre, The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus) on Thursday, December 3
  • Keith (Keith Football Club) on Wednesday, December 9.

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