An integrated disease management approach for the Australian macadamia industry (MC21001)
What's it all about?
This investment is generating new knowledge and providing innovative tools to predict, monitor and control diseases in macadamia. By equipping the macadamia industry with the knowledge and tools needed to manage diseases, this project will deliver significant medium to long-term outcomes to the industry, including increased harvest yield, minimised costs and reduced environmental impacts.
The project is deepening understanding of macadamia diseases, pathogen-pathogen interactions, and the broader impact of the environmental factors on pathogen pressure. To this end, a component of the project is capacity building by training three PhD students and upskilling macadamia growers and agronomists.
The project is also delivering national research and extension activities for growers and other industry stakeholders to minimise the impact of diseases across the major macadamia growing regions in Queensland and NSW.
The key activities of this program are:
- Undertaking scientific studies to address gaps in knowledge on the biology and epidemiology of key priority and emerging diseases.
- Developing innovative tools and control options to manage the diseases in an integrated system in macadamia.
- Building capacity through the involvement of high-degree research students.
- Providing pathology expertise for the industry and other research programs and supporting growers with disease diagnostic capability.
- Disseminating integrated disease management information to upskill growers and crop consultants.
Towards upskilling growers and consultants on integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) in macadamia, the project has delivered the disease stream in the macadamia masterclass IPDM module at a 2-day workshop in Bundaberg, and via online from October-November 2022.
To facilitate diagnostic services, ease of reporting of incidence and impact of diseases in macadamia orchards, a new online platform has been developed. The platform has been released to the industry via the AMS e-news platform along with an active QR code or website link.
Field trials are currently underway in commercial macadamia orchards. The sites are in the three major growing regions including Central and Southeast Queensland and Northern Rivers in New South Wales. Outcomes of the trials would improve knowledge on the biology and epidemiology of flower blight, husk rot and Botryosphaeria branch dieback disease, which will contribute to establish sustainable integrated disease management strategies.
This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Macadamia Fund