Fungicide resistance is a major threat to Australian broadacre agricultre.
The majority of fungicide active ingredients introduced into Australian agriculture in the past 15 years have already evolved resistance overseas, and particularly in Europe.
While Europe is further down the path of resistance than Australia, and our different environment sometimes allows us to use fungicides at lower rates and less often, the resistance evolution trends in Europe are similar to the patterns of development here. We can learn a lot from the European experience about which fungicides are more at risk and which management strategies work.
The emergence of resistance can be predicted given knowledge of the pathogen's life cycle, with pathogens that reprodcue more quickly at the highest risk. Selection pressure applied by the frequency of fungicide use, the dose applied and the fitness penalty associated with resistance, are also important.
International experience has guided the development of management strategies to minimise the risk of fungicide resistance for Australian growers.
The fungal pathogens on this list (table 1) have already demonstrated their ability to evolve resistance somewhere in the world. The CropLife Australia fungicide resistance management strategies take these into consideration to help Australian growers minimise the risk here.
More information: Professor Richard Oliver, Curtin University.