Chance to spot sorghum risk
MAREEBA sorghum growers can breathe a sigh of relief as the battle against charcoal rot and fusarium stalk rot has been boosted by research.
Through investment from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), researchers have focused on the two most important pathogens causing stalk rot.
Macrophomina phaseolina, (causing charcoal rot) and Fusarium species (causing fusarium stalk rot) were targeted by researchers to enable farmers to predict the disease risk for a paddock.
Stalk rot causes yield loss through poor grain fill, but more commonly through plant lodging which impedes harvest and reduces grain quality.
In a recent GRDC disease update, Associate Professor Adam Sparks from the University of Southern Queensland’s Centre for Crop Health said stubble seems to be a substantial contributor to pathogen populations for charcoal rot.
“In 2016/17 summer season, 32 sorghum fields were sampled from across the southeast and central Queensland using the molecular PREDICTA B test,” he said.
“The development of the test is under way.”