Online option for crop disease information

Author: Melissa Williams | Date: 02 Dec 2014

The grains industry now has fast access to latest crop disease management information with the unveiling of a website for the new Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM).

Caption 1: Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) director Mark Gibberd, left, with GRDC Western Panel Chairman Peter Roberts and CCDM extension manager John Noonan at the inaugural sundowner for the new CCDM, based at Curtin University in Perth through a bilateral research agreement with GRDC. Centre researchers outlined their latest findings from crop and disease management projects at the molecular science, agronomy and extension levels.

This $100 million Centre is the first bilateral research agreement between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and an Australian university and will involve the construction of high quality research facilities at Curtin University.

On-site work of new buildings is expected to start this month, but the Centre’s online presence has been boosted with a new website at:

This website provides a hub for research results and links to a range of resources from the CCDM’s national wheat, barley, canola and pulse projects investigating fungal diseases and resistance.

CCDM research targets the major fungal diseases (other than rust) affecting grains in Australia, including:

  • Stagonospora (septoria nodorum blotch) and yellow

    Caption 2: GRDC Western Panel Chairman Peter Roberts, left, with CCDM's Richard Oliver and Caroline Moffat.

    spot (also known as tan spot) in wheat
  • Net form net blotch (NFNB) and powdery mildew in barley
  • Sclerotinia in canola.

It is estimated that wheat diseases alone cost Australian grain growers about $913 million a year – or an average of about $76 per hectare in production losses that could be returned to growers’ back pockets.

The CCDM aims to reduce the production losses caused by these and other crop fungal diseases by conducting integrated R&D that starts with robust molecular science and flows through to agronomy and extension.

GRDC Western Panel Chairman Peter Roberts said WA grain growers were getting good leverage on their $30 million GRDC investment into the CCDM through co-investment by Curtin University.

“For about 20 cents/ha/annum contribution, WA growers are able to fund research into diseases that cost the grains industry more than $1.5 billion each year,” he said.

Mr Roberts said the CCDM’s agronomy and farm management project was a key part of improving fungal disease control through disease diagnosis, disease prediction, damage thresholds, management strategies and risk management.

“The Centre is also providing invaluable research into fungicide resistance and better fungicide management to prevent resistance build-up and preserve and improve crop production,” he said.

CCDM researchers are building on previous work at Curtin University that is estimated to already be saving growers across Australia about $85 million per year.

Within five years, the Centre’s work is forecast to be saving growers nearly $400 million per year.


Please note, this information can be reproduced in newsletters.

More information:

John Noonan, CCDM extension and engagement
08 9266 4507


Melissa Williams, Cox Inall Communications
042 888 4414

Useful resources:

CCDM website:

GRDC Project Code CUR00016

Region West