[ASC-media] NULLIFYING NEMATODES: Crop Doctor

Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Sep 20 03:53:30 CEST 2006


NULLIFYING NEMATODES

 


 

Help is on the way for WA growers losing yield through Root Lesion and
Cereal Cyst Nematodes (RLN and CCN) that limit production in the cereal
cropping zone.

 

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supported research
conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) aims to improve
RLN diagnosis to boost implementation of effective rotations.

 

DAFWA researcher and project supervisor, Dr Vivien Vanstone said using
appropriate crop species or varieties in rotations to reduce nematode levels
was the key to their management.

 

Rotations provide a practical, cost effective, sustainable way to reduce RLN
yield losses and the development and adoption of appropriate rotations will
increase grower profitability where nematodes limit yield.

 

RLN reduces cereal yields in WA on average by at least five per cent
annually but losses of up to 15-20 per cent have been recorded in some
cereal crops.

 

All RLN species have wide host ranges and affected cereals show identical
symptoms. 

Pratylenchus neglectus is the predominant RLN in WA cropping areas,
occurring in at least 40 per cent of paddocks.  However, several other
species also occur in WA. 

 

There is no guarantee that each species will respond in the same way to a
rotation, so it is critical to diagnose not only infestation levels, but
also the species, so rotations effective for the predominant RLN can be
implemented.

 

Unlike RLN, CCN has a narrow host range, infecting only grasses and cereals,
and is therefore easier to manage with rotations. This nematode is becoming
more widespread in areas under intensive cereal production, particularly
around Geraldton and Northam.

 

Trials were established last year for CCN in the Geraldton area, while RLN
trials were set up at Katanning and Newdegate.

 

CCN trials showed resistant versus susceptible cereal varieties reduced
nematode levels by up to 90 per cent, as did non-host crops, field pea and
lupin.

 

While a non-host crop can be more effective against CCN than a resistant
cereal, the only resistant WA cereal variety currently available is Doolup
barley.

 

Pasture species and varieties will also be screened against RLN, filling a
vital gap in our knowledge of the role of pasture rotations for nematode
management in the WA cropping system.

www.grdc.com.au


The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6272 5525


Further Information: Dr Vivien Vanstone, Tel 08 9368 3141

GRDC REF: CDJuly064.doc/DAW00124/Sandow

Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing 
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122


 



 


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