biocontrol breaks through take all

NSW Agriculture has reported substantial yield increases from wheat trials where harmless soil fungi were used to control take-all.

When the fungi were grown on sterilised oat grain or ryegrass seed, mixed with wheat and sown together, the fungi grew into the wheat roots. Wheat yields increased by 20 to 45 per cent consistently over several sites, as a result of decreased take-all levels.

Percy Wong told a GRDC Adviser Update Seminar at Temora that 4-8 kg/ha of ryegrass inoculum had proved effective. At an estimated $20 to $30 per hectare, use of this biocontrol agent could be economic with higher wheat prices. Dr Wong plans to conduct field trials in four States during 1996.

Contact: Dr Percy Wong 02 843 5777