ARGT risk high

17 Nov, 2004 10:00 PM
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ABOVE average rainfall from May to July has increased the risk of Annual Ryegrass Toxicity (ARGT) throughout the Wheatbelt.

Biological and Resource Technology plant pathologist George Yan said there have already been several ARGT outbreaks this year in the Beverley, Wongan Hills and Quairading regions.

"It is expected that there will be more outbreaks over the next few months as ryegrass matures and the level of toxin it contains increases," Dr Yan said.

He encouraged farmers to look out for any sign of ARGT and seek assistance from their local Agriculture Department office.

Farmers can also now report ARGT outbreaks online at www.argt.com.au

"The Agriculture Department is collecting the information and will use it to device strategies for better ARGT management and to determine potential areas of future research," he said.

"The reporting will remain confidential and farmers can elect to remain anonymous when reporting."

Technical information on ARGT can also be found on the website.

ARGT is an important disease of livestock in WA and SA.

The disease is caused by toxin contained in bacterially-infected annual ryegrass, Lolium rigidum.

The toxin is produced by the bacterium, Rathayibacter toxicus, which is carried into the ryegrass by a nematode, Anguina funesta.

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