Nematodes hit wheat yields

30 Oct, 2008 09:33 AM
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: Bruce Haig, DAFWA Technical officer, demonstrating height differences between different treatments on underperforming paddocks, part of a GRDC supported trial at Beverley.
: Bruce Haig, DAFWA Technical officer, demonstrating height differences between different treatments on underperforming paddocks, part of a GRDC supported trial at Beverley.

Dr Darshan Sharma, DAFWA, reports that harvested wheat at a high rainfall site in York has yielded significantly lower than the rainfall-limited potential, a finding attributed largely to high nematode infestation.

This finding are part of a five year GRDC funded study on underperforming paddocks on WA farms.

"Initial analysis of soil and crop samples showed high infestation with Cereal Cyst Nematode, but Pratylenchus thornei are also present," Dr Sharma said.

In addition, soil compaction was restricting root growth and there was poor soil nutrient retention due to low cation exchange capacity.

"We've used several remedial measures, including deep ripping for compaction, green manuring the crop to increase cation exchange capacity, rotating crops to decrease nematode numbers, applying fungicide to suppress Rhizoctonia and applying fertiliser," he said.

Dr Sharma said the experimental area with nematode resistant wheat varieties had a visibly more uniform canopy than the rest of the paddock.

GRDC

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