Chance to spot sorghum risk

Tablelands Advertiser - - LIFESTYLE -

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.”

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