Grains Podcast

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Grains Podcast

This podcast series focusses on areas of crop protection research and aims to delve deeper into some of the research projects, undertaken by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), that target weeds, pests and diseases.

Leading the way in soil management

Host: DPIRD Research Scientist Information Delivery, Alice Butler
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Portfolio Manager, Soil Science & Crop Nutrition, Chris Gazey

December 5, 2021 is World Soil Day and to celebrate, we invited DPIRD’s Soil Science and Crop Nutrition Manager Chris Gazey to the podcast.

With more than 40 years’ industry experience, Chris reflects on some of the milestone findings throughout his career and where his team of 35 staff are currently devoting their resources.

 No matter the soil type or individual constraints, Chris has been dedicated to finding techniques and solutions to see Western Australian grain growers maximise productivity, water and nutrient use efficiency.

 In this episode you’ll learn about strategic soil renovation and the key learnings from comparison work done on soil acidity, from 2004/2006 and 2010/2012. 

 Chris also provides insight into plans for funding from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation towards further soil sampling in the central wheatbelt.

 If you’re interested in soil, this episode is a must listen. 

Episode Links:
Visit the iLime webpage here:

Emerging weeds – seed bank ecology of emerging weed

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist Alex Douglas
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Research Scientist Dr Catherine Borger

It is easy to focus on understanding and implementing weed control tactics. However, it is also important to consider aspects of weed biology and ecology. Ongoing weed control cannot be successful until we understand how weeds grow and interact with other species, including crops, management practices and the environment.

Join Alex and Catherine to learn more about the valuable new publication, Emerging weeds – seed bank ecology of emerging weeds. By being aware of weed ecology, the likely weed-related implications of changing farming practices such as new crops, earlier sowing, or soil amelioration can be understood. For more information refer to GRDC’s publication page.

Australian Plague Locusts and Grasshoppers

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Janette Pratt
Guest speaker: DPIRD Research Scientist, Svetlana Micic

Australian plague locusts (APL) and native grasshoppers have the ability to cause significant damage to crops and pastures. While normally present in low numbers, favourable weather conditions can result in large increases in the populations of both insects.
In this podcast, DPIRD research scientist Svetlana Micic discusses how to identify APLs and native grasshoppers, why it’s important to correctly distinguish the two and the best control methods for these pests.

For more information refer to DPIRD’s Australian plague locust page.

Turnip yellows virus and its vector the Green peach aphid

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest speaker: DPIRD Research Scientist, Dr Benjamin Congdon

Turnip yellows virus (TuYV, formerly known as beet western yellows virus) is an obligate plant parasite transmitted exclusively by aphids, specifically the Green peach aphid. TuYV systemically infects canola plants and cannot be sprayed-out post-infection like a fungal disease.

 DPIRD research scientist Dr Ben Congdon, in collaboration with Cesar Australia, is testing an early warning system for TuYV epidemics in Australian canola crops. By detecting migrating aphids carrying TuYV using yellow sticky traps and a rapid and sensitive RNA detection technique, this system may provide virus risk information to growers that enables proactive TuYV control strategies and prevent widespread TuYV infection and damage in canola crops.

 For more information refer to DPIRD’s Turnip yellows virus early warning system page.

Managing sclerotinia

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Janette Pratt
Guest speaker: DPIRD Plant Pathologist, Ciara Beard

Sclerotinia stem rot is a fungal disease of canola and lupin that can cause significant yield loss. Yield losses can be severe in years of higher moisture and cooler conditions which favours disease development. With foliar fungicide applications not always economical, the decision to spray or not to spray is complex. DPIRD (with co-investment from GRDC) has developed the SclerotiniaCM decision support tool to assist in this process.

Click here to learn more about the SclerotiniaCM App

Native budworm

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest speaker: DPIRD Technical Officer, Alan Lord

DPIRD (with co-investment from GRDC and other funding bodies) conducts invertebrate trapping surveillance each year to monitor the potential risk of destructive pests to WA crops. One of pests surveyed is the native budworm (Helicoverpa punctigera).

DPIRD carries out both manual and automated pheromone native budworm trapping in WA each year. In this podcast. we focus on the manual pheromone moth trapping program and the benefits it provides to the WA grains industry.

For more information refer to DPIRD’s Native budworm moth trapping in WA page.