Grains Podcast

Home / Resources / Grains Podcast

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.

You can now subscribe to GRAINS CONVO on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Manage on-farm carbon emissions

Host: DPIRD Research Scientist, Alice Butler
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Agricultural Scientist, Mandy Curnow

Mandy Curnow is an Agricultural Scientist with DPIRD, based in Albany. She has worked on various livestock research and Landcare projects throughout her career. More recently Mandy has focused her research on greenhouse gas accounting for mixed farming enterprises.

In this podcast you’ll learn how carbon emissions are calculated, and how to create a carbon account for a farming business. Mandy also provides an overview of the work she is undertaking at the Katanning Research Facility to meet a 2030 carbon neutral target.

Episode links:
There are a number of online tools to available via the DPIRD website to assist landholders to begin the process of calculating on-farm carbon emissions.

Contact Mandy Curnow:
M. 0429 082 755

How the PestFacts WA service can help you

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Janette Pratt
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster

DPIRD Research Agronomist Cindy Webster discusses the recently renamed PestFacts WA service. Previously known as the PestFax service, this interactive service provides timely information and advice on pests and diseases threatening crops and pastures throughout the grainbelt. PestFacts WA is upgrading their reporting app and map and will deliver various tools (e-newsletter, insecticide spray guides, webinars, free pest and disease diagnoses, identification training events and more) for WA growers and consultants throughout the growing season.

PestFacts WA operates under the IPMforGrains project which is delivered by the National Pest Information Network (Cesar Australia, DPIRD, QDAF, NSW DPI, and SARDI). It aims to provide grain growers and advisors with information on invertebrate grain pest occurrence and equip industry with the knowledge needed to implement integrated pest management practices. This initiative is a GRDC investment and includes in-kind contributions from all project partner organisations.

Episode Link:
To learn more about the PestFacts WA service click here
To subscribe to the PestFacts WA e-newsletter email

Contact Cindy Webster:
P. +61 (0) 9881 0201.
M. 0404 819 534

Sodic Soils

Host: DPIRD Research Scientist, Alice Butler
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Senior Soils Research Scientist, David Hall

In this podcast DPIRD Research Scientist Alice Butler chats with DPIRD Senior Soils Research Scientist David Hall about how sodic soils are formed and the different management options for these soils.

David currently leads up the Sodic Soils project, funded by GRDC, where he and his team are trialling everything from gypsum applications, ripping, organic amendments and mulching to increase soil stability and ultimately lead to better water infiltration and crop growth.

Contact David Hall:
M. 0447 914 013

Managing snails in broadacre crops

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Research Scientist, Svetlana Micic

DPIRD Research Scientist Svetlana Micic discusses the importance of correctly diagnosing snails, their impact on crops and the importance of managing snails before they lay their eggs. Egg laying can occur anytime from mid-March to mid-April depending on rainfall.

Episode Link:
To view DPIRD’s identification and control of pest slugs and snails for broadacre crops in Western Australia, click here

Contact Svetlana Micic:
P. +61 (0) 9892 8591.
M. 0427 772 051

Soil Water Repellence

Host: DPIRD Research Scientist, Alice Butler
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Senior Soils Research Scientist, Stephen Davies

In this podcast, Alice Butler speaks with Steve Davies about his pathway to becoming a Senior Research Scientist working on soils in Geraldton, and what inspired his career in this field.

Steve explains his understanding of water repellence on sands versus gravels, and discusses the new SoilsWest eBook, Soil Water Repellence, that he has contributed to.

Steve currently works on the Post Amelioration Project, co-invested by DRIRD and GRDC, which focuses on minimising risks when undertaking strategic tillage and ensuring longevity of soil amelioration benefits.

Episode Links:
Click here to learn more about Soilswest eBooks

New technologies for monitoring crops for diseases and insects

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Janette Pratt
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Epidemiologist Jean Galloway and Entomologist Dusty Severtson

In this episode you’ll learn about important early warnings for diseases and insects, and the new technologies that are being researched to aid in crop monitoring. We also discuss why it’s necessary to monitor crops and identify some key resources to learn more about crop diseases and insects.

Episode Links:
View the Pestfax newsletter archive here
Visit the DPIRD website here

What you need to know about growing a chickpea crop

Host: GGA Grains Research, Development and Extension Communications Manager, Amber Atkinson
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Senior Research Scientist, Mark Seymour

In this episode DPIRD Senior Research Scientist, Mark Seymour, explains the work he’s doing with chickpea crops. If you’ve been considering growing chickpeas, Mark offers some expert advice on soil types, treating the seed with fungicide and weed control.

Episode Links:
GRDC online Farm Trials
GRDC Chickpea Grow Notes

Click here for DPIRD research and development resources
Contact Mark Seymour:
P. +61 (0)8 90831 143
M. 0428 925 002

The effect of a green bridge on Root lesion nematodes (RLN)

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Research Scientist, Sarah Collins

DPIRD Research Scientist, Sarah Collins provides an informative overview of Root lesion nematodes (RLN) and their impact on crops and pastures. In this episode you’ll learn about the effect a green bridge will have on RLN for season 2022 and key management strategies.

Episode Links:
For more RLN info click here
Contact Sarah Collins:
P. +61 (0)8 9368 3612
M. 0404 488 113

Pre-harvest sprouting in wheat

Host: Grains Research, Development and Extension Communications Manager, Amber Atkinson
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Research Scientist, Jeremy Curry

Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) is a common quality constraint of wheat that can result in downgrading of grain quality upon receival. In WA, the falling number test is conducted at receival sites where suspected pre-harvest sprouting damage has occurred, determined by detection of visually sprouted grains. In this episode DPIRD research scientist Jeremy Curry explains pre harvest sprouting and discusses the research he is doing in this area. Learn about his findings to date and the advice he has for WA growers.

Episode Links:
Visit the pre harvest sprouting webpage here
Contact Jeremy Curry:
P. +61 (0)8 9083 1160
M. 0403 789 505

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.