Growers urged to soil test for nematodes prior to winter plant
- Root-lesion nematodes are present in approximately 70 percent of fields in the northern grain belt and can slash yields by up to 50% in wheat and 20% in chickpeas.
- All major winter crops, wheat, barley and chickpeas, are susceptible to the root-lesion nematode species P. thornei and encourage the proliferation of nematode populations.
- Growers who haven’t soil tested in recent years are urged to undertake soil testing to establish species present and baseline levels of populations.
Northern growers looking to reap the rewards from a promising start to the winter cropping season should soil test for root-lesion nematodes prior to planting to avoid losing up to 50 percent yield in intolerant wheat and up to 20 percent in chickpea crops.
The GRDC-supported root-lesion nematode trial work which is currently being undertaken by DAFF is particularly relevant to growers in areas where winter crops are an important part of the rotation as all major winter crops – wheat, barley and chickpeas – are susceptible to P. thornei and encourage the proliferation of nematode populations.
In chickpeas, root-lesion nematodes can potentially slash yields by up to 20 percent under high populations.
Dr Owen said trial work suggested that HatTrick was less susceptible than other chickpea varieties like Kyabra or Amethyst indicating that yield losses could be managed with varietal selection.
Audio download: Download the audio file from the downloads box below to hear Dr Kirsty Owen from DAFF talking about the management of root-lesion nematodes in the lead up to the winter cropping season.
Louise Morgan, DAFF Senior Media & Communication Officer
07 3087 8576
Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant Cox Inall Communications
GRDC Project Code DAV00128
Region North, South, West