Disease Identification

The effective management of soil-borne diseases begins with the accurate identification of pathogens in the paddock. Farmers can identify the pathogen by either inspecting the roots of cereal plants for disease symptoms or by using a soil test.

Soil Test

A PreDicta B soil test is the most accurate and comprehensive way of monitoring soil-borne disease inoculum. The test can be used before sowing to identify paddocks that are most at risk to root disease. This will allow for high risk paddocks to be planted to another variety/crop to reduce the economic impact of soil-borne pathogens. More information on the PreDicta B soil test is available from local agronomists or from SARDI, via email shawn.rowe@sa.gov.au

Inspection of Cereal Roots

To identify root diseases during the growing season farmers can dig up suspect plants and inspect their roots. Plants should be sampled using a spade and not pulled out of the ground. This will ensure a good sample of roots is available for inspection. Soil is then carefully washed from the roots under running water. Roots are then inspected for disease by floating them in a white tray of water and looking for the different disease symptoms described in this chapter.