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Tool Created for Spotting Yellow Leaf Spot Disease

Tool Created for Spotting Yellow Leaf Spot Disease

2021-07-13

The Grains Research and Development has stated that they intend to develop a new tool. This will assist Australian wheat producers to examine and make informed decisions about eradicating yellow leaf spot. This is one of the deadliest diseases that is plaguing the agricultural world. This problem can economically damage wheat to a great extent. The damages can cost agribusiness owners to lose out up to $30 per hectare. This then leads to low productivity rates and increased management costs. In fact, leaf spot damage can also equate to an unsuccessful harvest season. This disease is mainly caused by the fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, and it affects bread wheat, durum and triticale varieties causing yield loss and reduced grain quality.

A new decision-support tool has been developed for yellow leaf spot that is calibrated for use across all the wheat-growing regions of Australia. Called YellowSpot, the decision support tool is one of a series developed to assist growers with managing key crop diseases. The tool was developed as part of a three-year $3.5 million GRDC and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) in Western Australia research co-investment ‘Disease epidemiology and management tools for Australian grain growers. DPIRD senior research scientist Jean Galloway said the YellowSpot tool was designed for use during the growing season and would assist grain growers and agronomists to make more informed decisions about fungicide application to optimise yield and minimise costs in individual paddocks against leaf spot damage.

The tool is intuitive and straightforward to use against leaf spot damage and requires the user to input individual paddock data, as well as expected weather conditions. It then uses a forecasting model to generate the predicted return from a fungicide treatment, in dollars per hectare, highlighting the probability of a negative or positive return. Hence, this tool is a complete turnaround for the agricultural and horticultural world.

Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)