A CSIRO plant pathologist has been appointed co-director of the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM), to help reduce the economic impact of crop disease for Australian grain growers.
In an inaugural joint appointment between CCDM and CSIRO, Karam Singh, chief research scientist in CSIRO Agriculture and Food and an expert in soil borne fungal pathogens and insect pests, will assist to provide scientific leadership to the CCDM, a national research centre co-supported by Curtin University and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
CCDM director Mark Gibberd said he and Professor Singh will together co-direct the centre, leading research initiatives in plant pathology, agronomy and agribusiness as well as fungicide management.
Researchers have encouraged Western Australian growers to install temperature monitors in their crops to increase their understanding of frost incidence across their paddocks and in frost-prone landscapes.
Nik Callow, of the School of Agriculture and Environment at The University of WA (UWA), said the devices generated data which could be used to monitor trends of temperature variability and compared with crop yield results.
“Data from temperature monitors can be used to develop a historical database to monitor frost incidence on growers’ properties and to assist with whole-year frost risk management planning," he said.
Record US exports
US GRAIN exports hit record highs in the first quarter of 2017 due to ample stocks there and low prices which have helped spark foreign demand.
First quarter exports combined for the three major crops of wheat, soybeans and corn totalled 35.7 million tonnes, 28 per cent above the five year average according to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
Corn exports for the period were the second highest on record since 1995, while wheat exports were the highest since 2013.
Soil carbon report
Farming systems group, Riverine Plains has just released a new publication for grain growers in its catchment in north-eastern Victoria and southern NSW called Soil Carbon in Cropping Systems.
Riverine Plains’ research and extension officer Cassandra Schefe compiled the report and said that the publication aims to help farmers better understand what soil carbon is and the role it plays in crop production systems.
“Broadacre cropping is incredibly complex, and our soil resources are a fundamental component of these production systems, though they are often one of the least well understood” she explained.