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Decision support tools aid disease management decisions

A suite of decision support tools is available to assist growers and advisers with fungicide management options for controlling disease in grain crops.
Photo: Steve Collins, DPIRD

A suite of decision support tool apps for disease management has been developed to help growers and advisers identify the most-effective and financially advantageous strategies for mitigating crop fungal diseases.

These apps have been produced as part of GRDC-supported national disease modelling projects spearheaded by the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

Growers and advisers can be confident these tools can help them make disease management decisions as they are specifically tailored for Australian production systems. They have been developed using comprehensive national experimental data and insights from experts in the field.

Users can input their paddock scenarios into the application, enabling them to evaluate the probable, optimal and worst-case outcomes in terms of yield responses and economic returns resulting from various fungicide management options.

Evaluating the likely yield response and economic returns from management options reduces the unnecessary use of fungicides and helps to minimise the development of fungicide resistance.

Available on both Android and Apple devices, the apps are easily accessible for use in the field and have options for reports to be emailed directly to the grower’s consultant or to experts involved in the development of the tools for further assistance.

The suite of digital disease management tools currently available includes:

  • BlacklegCM – blackleg crown canker management in canola. This app provides current crown canker resistance ratings for all current canola varieties and allows the user to compare different fungicide options.
  • UCI BlacklegCM – management of blackleg upper canopy infection in canola. The app takes into account costs, yield benefits, grain price and seasonal conditions when comparing best case, worst case and most likely estimates of financial returns from different management options.
  • SclerotiniaCM – management of sclerotinia stem rot in canola. The user can specify individual paddock data as well as recent and expected weather conditions to determine the likely sclerotinia severity, yield loss and economic return from no fungicide application versus single or multiple foliar fungicide applications.
  • PowderyMildewMBM – management of powdery mildew in mungbeans. The app takes into account that this disease is highly influenced by seasonal conditions and will give growers and consultants confidence in decisions about whether to invest in spraying for this disease.
  • StripeRustWM – stripe rust management in wheat crops. The app assesses the probable disease severity, yield loss and economic return across various fungicide strategies, factoring in costs, grain prices and the prevailing seasonal conditions.
  • YellowSpotWM – management of yellow spot (tan spot) in wheat. The app accounts for the major factors that influence yellow leaf spot severity. The user can specify factors relating to paddock selection, variety, seasonal conditions, prices and management options so that the output relates to their cropping circumstance.

Development and field testing of the apps has been carried out by DPIRD in collaboration with pathology experts from Agriculture Victoria, Marcroft Grains Pathology, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, University of Southern Queensland, University of Melbourne and CSIRO.

For further information visit AGRIC's app centre.

Alternatively, for suggestions or enquiries contact DPIRD at

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