At a glance
- Project to develop a risk framework for the pyrethrum industry that can be used to adapt disease management strategies to regions and environmental conditions.
- Will enable more targeted disease management and a reduction of fungicide usage in low-risk scenarios.
What's the need for the research?
Disease management in pyrethrum is a major concern. Diseases such as ray blight and tan spot represent a major risk to yield and the industry's ability consistently meet market production requirements. Managing that disease also represents a major financial and environmental cost. Currently, a standard industry wide recommended spray program is deployed to manage disease. However, anecdotal evidence from growers suggests that different growing regions and season are affected by different levels of disease. Quantifying the risk of disease across different scenarios would enable more targeted disease management and a reduction of fungicide usage in low-risk scenarios.
The pyrethrum industry is run commercially by Botanical Resources Australia (BRA) with all crops grown under contract with the company. This research is being conduction in collaboration with BRA. This enables close interaction with the industry, collection of on-farm data and rapid dissemination of the project findings.
How are we solving the problem?
Field based monitoring of foliar disease epidemics over winter, spring and summer is being conducted. This includes estimates of disease impacts on yield, spore trapping and weather monitoring in different cropping regions around Tasmania and Victoria. This data will be combined with laboratory and greenhouse experimental data to understand the drivers of foliar disease and formulate risk models. These will then be deployed by the industry to make informed decisions regarding frequency and timing of fungicide applications in commercial cropping.
This project aims to develop a risk framework for the pyrethrum industry that can be used to adapt their disease management strategies in accordance with region and environmental conditions. Ultimately the intended goal of the project is to develop a risk model that will enable adaptable and targeted disease management protocols that account for inherent regional and climatic conditions. This will improve the stability and predictability in crop productivity across pyrethrum cropping regions while reducing expenditure on fungicides.
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This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the pyrethrum research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.