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Ongoing project

Development of regional disease risk models for fungal diseases of pyrethrum (PY20000)

Key research provider: University of Tasmania

What’s it all about?

This project is investigating the environmental conditions that drive tan spot and ray blight outbreaks in pyrethrum. These diseases represent a major risk to yield and the industry’s ability to consistently meet market production requirements. Managing for disease is a major financial and environmental cost, and any effort to reduce those costs without major yield losses would be beneficial for pyrethrum growers.

A range of research activities are being undertaken and their results will be used to develop models that identify the relative risk associated with cropping regions and seasons. This information will be used to create a framework for industry decisions regarding frequency and timing of fungicide applications in pyrethrum.

This approach will ensure that high-risk regions are given adequate protection from disease losses but will also lead to an overall reduction in control costs for the industry by reducing fungicide sprays in low-risk regions and seasons.

The research for this project will fall into three areas:

  1. Climatic effects on disease. A series of controlled environment experiments will be conducted to examine the conditions that favour spore formation, spore germination, leaf infection and host colonisation.

  2. Regional differences in pyrethrum diseases. Regional differences will be monitored from autumn to early summer in both 2021 and 2022.

  3. Relationships between disease pressure and yield loss. Field data will be collected from field crops across three growing seasons.

The data obtained during the research activities will be combined to develop disease risk models for the impact of tan spot and ray blight on pyrethrum yield.

Related levy funds

This project was a strategic voluntary levy investment in the Hort Innovation Pyrethrum Fund