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.

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

Managing diamondback moths

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Research Scientist Dr Dustin Severtson

In this episode of Grains Convo we talk about a serious pest of canola, and all brassica crops, the diamondback moth.

Diamondback moths lay eggs on canola plants and the emerging larvae feed on plants. In addition to damaging canola crops the diamondback moth is renowned to develop insecticide resistance, so it important that growers apply an integrated pest management strategy if numbers are high.

DPIRD, with investment from GRDC, is working with WA grower groups and surveying all port zones for diamondback moths and larvae activity with manual and automated traps.

Episode links:
Click here to read more about Diagnosing diamondback moth page.
Click here to read GRDC’s Western Paddock Practices: Managing diamondback moth.
Growers and consultant can submit diamondback moth reports, or request diagnoses, by using DPIRD’s PestFacts WA Reporter app.

Gene editing for crop improvement

Host: Grains Research, Development and Extension Communications Manager, Amber Atkinson
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Research Scientist, Dr Yong Han

In this episode of Grains Convo we speak with DPIRD Research Scientist, Dr Yong Han, about gene editing technology and  how it will influence the future of plant breeding in Australia.

Gene editing technology is different to genetic modification. In this podcast Dr Han explains the key differences and how he is using it to develop the next generation of crop varieties.

This technology is revolutionary and was awarded a Nobel prize in 2020. Dr Han is adopting this approach for crop genetic improvements that will influence yield, quality and many other agronomist traits.

Episode links:
Click here to read: New barley varieties to help cut costs and build a greener planet

Research project yields new wheat lines to help withstand yellow spot

Host: Grains Research, Development and Extension Communications Manager, Amber Atkinson
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Senior Plant Pathologist, Manisha Shankar

Western Australian grains researchers have wrapped up a ground-breaking project resulting in 11 new wheat lines with very high levels of resistance to yellow spot.

In this podcast, DPIRD Senior Plant Pathologist and Project Leader ManishaShankar discusses the project undertaken to get these wheat lines and how they could make future wheat varieties less susceptible to yellow spot.

In Australia, yellow spot is estimated to cause losses totalling $212 million per annum.

The lines developed by the research project have now been delivered to various breeding companies and are crucial genetic stocks for future breeding.

Manisha explains plant genetics and how it relates to disease resistance. She also explains the interests that led her into the exciting field of genetics.

Episode links:
Click here to read: Research project yields new wheat lines to help withstand yellow spot.
Click here to read: More yellow spot resistance genes discovered
Click here to read: Germplasm enhancement for yellow spot resistance in wheat

BONUS: Mechanical Soil Amelioration

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

In this episode DPIRD Research Scientist Tom Edwards explains the research he is undertaking in soil management to boost grains productivity.

Tom is assisting with a series of trials to help growers manage soil constraints like acidity, compaction, water repellence and herbicide-resistant weeds.

His focus is on mechanical soil amelioration, which includes common techniques include soil mixing, (e.g. ripping and spading), soil inversion (e.g. mouldboarding or one-way plough) and deep ripping, all of which lead to various degrees of soil mixing, creating a changed soil profile.

Tom explains some of the main barriers to adoption and what he is aiming to achieve in his trials.

Episode Links:
Soil water repellence – overview
Rotary spading and deep cultivation to ameliorate soil water repellence
Managing soil organic carbon on Western Australian farms
Soil organic matter – frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Oat diseases – Red leather leaf and leaf rust

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Research Scientists and Plant Pathologists, Geoff Thomas and Dr Kylie Chambers.

In this episode of Grains Convo we discuss oat diseases in WA – particularly Red leather leaf (RLL) and oat leaf rust.

Plant pathologist Geoff Thomas summarises the main oat diseases found by DPIRD when conducting widespread surveillance of WA cereal crops over the past few years.

The presence of RLL in WA was only recently confirmed from three oat samples from Pingelly, Narrogin and Piesseville that were collected in 2021 as part of general disease surveillance. DPIRD is surveying for RLL this season and growers and consultants can submit suspected RLL samples to DPIRD

Plant pathologist Dr Kylie Chambers discusses oat leaf rust and its impact on grain and hay yield and quality and management recommendations – based on 2020 and 2021 trial findings.

Episode Links:
Click here to read more about Red leather leaf in WA.

Click here for more information about 2020 Plant diseases impacting oaten hay production in Australia

Growers and consultant can submit oat disease reports, or request diagnoses, by using DPIRD’s PestFacts WA Reporter app.

Groundbreaking Re-engineering Soils project

Host: DPIRD Research Scientist, Alice Butler
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Soils Research Scientist, Dr Gaus Azam

Dr Gaus Azam is a Soil Scientist with DPIRD, based in Northam. He was born on a small farm in Bangladesh and went on to study agriculture in both Bangladesh and Thailand, before moving to Australia to undertake his PhD in Applied Soil Physics at the University of Adelaide.

Gaus been with DPIRD since 2016. He currently leads up the Re-engineering Soils project, a trial series which aims to better understand the theoretical yield potential of Western Australian soils when soil constraints are removed. In this podcast we discuss the various Re-engineering trials across the WA Wheatbelt, with a specific focus on the Toolbrunup site, one of five new trials implemented within the 2022 season.

Episode Links:

Click here for more information on the grains trials to overcome soil constraints

Managing Matricaria

Host: DPIRD research agronomist, Janette Pratt
Guest Speaker: DPIRD research agronomist, Alex Douglas

In this podcast we focus on the weed Matricaria in the Western Australian wheatbelt.

Previously the weed Matricaria was mostly found in the Eastern wheatbelt but in recent years it has been spreading into the central and eastern wheatbelts as well.

In this podcast, DPIRD research agronomist Alex Douglas will discuss Matricaria and how its spreading, how to distinguish Matricaria from other weeds and the management options that are available for its control.

Episode Links 
The biology and control of matricaria and marshmallow – can we run down the seed bank? Click here for the presentation.
Click here to view the biology and management of matricaria GRDC webpage.

BONUS: Disease risk forecasts for Blackleg in canola and blackspot in field peas

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Janette Pratt
Guest Speaker: DPIRD Epidemiologist, Jean Galloway

In this episode of Grains Convo we focus on blackleg in canola and blackspot in field peas.

You’ll learn about the disease risk forecasts, now available on the DPIRD website, for blackleg in canola and blackspot in field peas. Risk forecasts provide a sowing guide to avoid early disease infection in seedling crops. Growers and consultants can subscribe to receive a weekly sms identifying the Blackspot disease risk for their location.

The free app, BlacklegCM, is a tool designed to assist growers and consultants to determine the probability of an economic return from fungicide management for the control of blackleg disease.

BlacklegCM accounts for the major factors that influence blackleg severity. The user can specify factors relating to paddock selection, seasonal conditions, prices and management options so that the output relates to their own cropping circumstance.

Episode Links:
Click here to see the latest Canola blackleg spore maturity forecast for Western Australia
Click here to see the current Blackspot in field peas disease forecast
Click here to see more information on BlacklegCM 

Managing low groundcover on sandy soils in the West Midlands

Host: DPIRD Research Agronomist, Cindy Webster
Guest Speakers: DPIRD Research Scientists, Geoff Moore and Svetlana Micic

In spring 2021 there were widespread areas of bare, or low groundcover, sandy soils in the West Midlands region of WA. This was unusual due to the favourable growing conditions experienced in the previous year. Investigations by DPIRD and the West Midlands Group found that high grasshopper numbers, along with other contributing factors like a false break, over-grazing or a low pasture seed bank resulted in these conditions.

In this podcast DPIRD Research Scientist Geoff Moore discusses the findings from investigations by DPIRD and the West Midlands Group, what growers needs to watch out for in 2022 and how to manage low groundcover.

DPIRD Research Scientist Svetlana Micic advises how to identify and manage sand grasshoppers.

Episode links:
To learn more about seasonal issues visit DPIRD’s Season 2022 webpage.

For more information about sand grasshoppers refer to DPIRD’s Identifying and controlling Urnisa grasshopper or sand grasshopper webpage.

To report any grasshopper activity, or request an identification, contact the PestFacts WA team on pestfax@dpird.wa.gov.au or use the PestFax Reporter app.

Contact Geoff Moore
P. +61 (0)8 9368 3293
M. 0427 448 025
E.  geoff.moore@dpird.wa.gov.au

Contact Svetlana Micic
P. +61 (0) 9892 8591.
M. 0427 772 051
E. svetlana.micic@dpird.wa.gov.au

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
E. Mandy.Curnow@dpird.wa.gov.au

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 pestfax@dpird.wa.gov.au

Contact Cindy Webster:
P. +61 (0) 9881 0201.
M. 0404 819 534
E. Cindy.Webster@dpird.wa.gov.au

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
E. david.hall@dpird.wa.gov.au

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
E. svetlana.micic@dpird.wa.gov.au

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
E. mark.seymour@dpird.wa.gov.au

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 https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/barley/root-lesion-and-burrowing-nematodes-diagnosis-and-management
Contact Sarah Collins:
P. +61 (0)8 9368 3612
M. 0404 488 113
E. sarah.collins@dpird.wa.gov.au

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
E. jeremy.curry@dpird.wa.gov.au

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: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/apps/ilime

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.