DAW00228 - National pathogen management modelling and delivery of decision support

Project Summary

Project Start Date
10 March 2017
Project End Date
30 June 2018
Supervisor Name
Emily Harvey
Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia

Improving crop yield in Australian farming systems is hindered by a number of factors including crop disease. Recent reports commissioned by GRDC indicate that the annualised costs of diseases of cereals, and oilseeds and pulses is more than $1.2 billion and $210 million, respectively. Managing diseases at the right time with the right control techniques can and will substantially reduce the costs of diseases and thereby increase farm income. However, such management needs to be economically viable. This project aims to provide the grains industry with tools and processed information to aid decisions on economically-feasible crop disease management.

Models will be developed using up-to-date research findings and the best scientific procedures. Before the models are applied they will be tested with location-specific data. After testing they will be used to make decision-aiding tools to assist with farm management. The decision tools will be field tested with groups of potential users across the country.

PhD and post-doctoral programs involving crop disease modelling will be initiated at the University of Western Australia to ensure scientific excellence in the work and to build capacity in this area for the future.

This project builds on the experience gained from a previous GRDC project that successfully built and deployed modelling and forecasting tools to manage fungal diseases of oilseeds and pulses for WA and pulses for SA and Victoria. The current project includes diseases of cereals, oilseeds and pulses and the work area has expanded to include key personnel across the three GRDC regions to address the most important crop disease issues regionally and nationally.

This project will deliver a validated national decision-support model framework for stripe rust of wheat, yellow spot of wheat, wheat streak mosaic virus, beet western yellows virus of pulses and oilseeds, blackspot in field peas and new models for Ascochyta in lentils, powdery mildew of mungbean, blackleg and Sclerotinia of canola, and Fusarium head blight in sorghum and wheat. It will also include a fungicide or insecticide use-rationale model. In addition, it will deliver an electronic map-based and direct-Email alert platform and a simplified web and app-based decision-support system for communication of model outcomes and an electronic direct-Email communication platform for communication of grain-market-sensitive-model outcomes.

The primary outcome of the project will be better disease management decisions on-farm, ensuring reduced crop loss from diseases and greater economic benefits.

This outcome will be achieved through delivery of targeted information to manage the regional and seasonal risks of specific crop diseases. An important secondary outcome will be increased capacity in the area of crop-disease modelling and risk forecasting so benefits continue to flow in the longer term.


Published Date
16 March 2018

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