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New app for canola growers to manage blackleg disease

Released on

Released on:
Monday, 26. February 2018 - 12:30

A new app was launched today that has the potential to revolutionise the management of a major disease threat to Western Australian canola crops, blackleg.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development led the collaboration that developed the disease management app, with the support of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The blackleg canola management app, known as BlacklegCM, was unveiled at the 2018 GRDC Grains Research Update in Perth today.

Department principal research officer Art Diggle said the app harnessed 30 years worth of data and information compiled in the Blackleg Management Guide to help identify the most profitable management strategy for individual scenarios.

“It enables the user to compare the likely economic outcome of various strategies, such as paddock selection, variety choice, seed dressing, banded fungicide and sprayed fungicide,” Dr Diggle said.

“The app considers the cost, yield and grain price to generate the best case, worst case and most likely estimates of financial return.”

Once all the paddock and farm parameters have been entered into the app, it can determine the likely blackleg severity, yield loss and economic return.

Growers and consultants can enter as many comparisons as desired to determine the best way to manage the blackleg disease risk to reduce its impact and optimise crop productivity and profitability.

“The strength of the app is that it can calculate a range of interactions at once to produce results that are tuned to the paddock and the local environment,” Dr Diggle said.

“It can also be updated after sowing if there are any changes to the input parameters, such as canola prices or yield potential.”

The app has been tested extensively and will be updated continuously, as new varieties, disease ratings and management options become available.

The University of Melbourne, NSW Department of Primary Industries, CSIRO, the South Australian Research and Development Institute and Victorian consultants Marcroft Grains Pathology also contributed to the development of the app.

For more information or to download the BlacklegCM app click here.

Man and woman sitting in front of a computer
DPIRD technical officer Fumie Horiuchi and principal research officer Dr Art Diggle check out the new BlacklegCM app, to help canola growers identify the most cost effective strategy to mitigate the fungal disease blackleg.

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