New partners, better soil test service


Farmers can look forward to easy access to a greater range of soil tests for crop diseases via a commercial partnership that builds on research supported by growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC.

Issue 26 of Ground Cover reported the success of the testing service organised by the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) for take-all, Rhizoctonia, CCN and the two species of RLN.

In a commercial collaboration with SARDI, Aventis Crop Science now proposes heavy R&D investment to expand the range of DNA tests available for crop-damaging soil diseases. SARDI researchers hope the commercial arrangement will speed up adoption of the new technology.

Aventis Root Disease Service Commercial Development Manager Greg Skinner said that while many of the first tests focused on cereal pathogens, Aventis is keen to help scientists broaden the suite of tests for oilseed and pulse pathogens, such as black spot for field peas and blackleg in canola.

"Our commitment to investment in the root disease testing service is a signal of our confidence in this technology and its huge potential for Australian farmers," Mr Skinner said.

He said farmers wanting to use the service could contact distribution partners Pivot, Hi-Fert, Elders, IAMA, CSBP Independent Horticulture Distributors and accredited agronomists. The recommended cost to farmers this season is $159 per test.

Contact: Mr Greg Skinner 0419 418 402, Mr Kevin Harris 02 9842 4435