Soil Pathogens

Full Name: Soil pathogen identification and management strategies for winter cereals

Funding Body: GRDC delivered in partnership with SARDI

A steady increase in Crown Rot damage has been observed (primarily in Wheat) in

the past 20 years, both on the property of this demo and now more broadly across

the district. During this time, cereal intensity in the rotation has generally increased,

and at the same time this grower’s farming system has moved to direct drill using

knife points. It is considered likely that these two aspects are exacerbating the crown

rot problem. There is insufficient time between susceptible crops to break down the

residues carrying inoculum, compounded by a lack of cultivation which isn’t allowing

the accelerated break down of residues. The high incidence of below average spring

rainfall has further contributed to the problem.

Residue breakdown will also obviously be influenced by environmental conditions

e.g. the amount of moisture which is available to aid microbial activity.

The aim of this demonstration is to compare the breakdown of residues (and inoculum) under

an open canopy crop such as Faba Beans with a more closed canopy such as a

vetch pasture over a 2-3 year program to monitor crown rot levels under different

cultural treatments.

This project was established in Baroota, South Australia on a site with a history of severe

crown rot.

Contact : Jonno Mudge, 0409 378 490