Guide to Brassica Biofumigant Cover Crops: Managing soilborne diseases in vegetable production systems
This publication contains information to assist growers in understanding how biofumigants work and managing them for optimum efficacy against soilborne diseases.
Biofumigants are a unique type of cover crop that produce compounds with suppression effects on soilborne pathogens, pests and weeds.
This guide also discusses and presents data on a range of agronomic management practices of biofumigant cover crops including pest and diseases, nutrient uptake requirements, irrigation and incorporation methods.
In this edition: Announcement of our 2022 focus topics, carbon management on vegetable farms webinar recording, upcoming events and webinars, demonstration site news from Western Australia and Victoria, new resources on sorghum cover crops, managing soil-borne diseases in vegetable crops and meet the Soil Wealth ICP team.
While taking soil samples at our Koo Wee Rup demonstration site in Victoria recently, Soil Wealth ICP team member Carl Larsen recorded a short video about the key things to keep in mind to ensure you collect a quality soil sample for testing.
In this edition: Soil Biology Masterclass videos, demonstration site news from the Northern Territory and Victoria, a fact sheet on the potential of biochar in vegetable production and meet the Soil Wealth ICP team.
Plant pathologist Dr Len Tesoriero joins the Soil Wealth ICP team presents on soil-borne disease suppression in vegetable crops.
In this edition: Virtual shed walk showcasing microwave weed technology, demonstration site news from Queensland and Victoria, new resources from the Soil Biology in Vegetable Production Masterclass, a go-to guide on nutrition management resources and meet the Soil Wealth ICP team.
Soil Wealth ICP team member Carl Larsen braved the windy weather at our Koo Wee Rup demonstration site in Victoria to bring growers a short update on how things were progressing at the site.
Soil Wealth ICP team members Kelvin Montagu and Marc Hinderager look into breakdown of organic matter, agrochemicals and impact on soil biology.
Soil Wealth ICP team member Kelvin Montagu looks at the linkage between key soil functions and soil biology, and the interactions between plant roots and soil biology.
Watch how microwave technology is being developed to assist with integrated crop protection.
In this global scan we look at some of the changes affecting the integrated crop protection tools available to vegetable growers by examining what is happening elsewhere, globally and in other sectors.
In this edition: soil your undies challenge, catch up on the Potato R&D Forum 2021, demo site trial report from Richmond, Tasmania, using drones to generate farm insights, updated Biological Products Database and meet the Soil Wealth ICP team.
There are many things we can take for granted, and in vegetable and potato production this can be as simple as nutrition and its impact on a crop from a plant physiology perspective.
However, growers and advisers armed with a deep knowledge of nutrition and its practical application in a crop are better placed to ensure that crop achieves peak production. We spoke to our Partnership Network member Stoller Australia to find out more.
Catch up on Day 2 of the Australian Potato R&D Forum 2021, which focused on soil health and disease management. Speakers and topics included:
• Promoting soil health: How can cover crops and soil amendments improve your soil health and yield? Julie Finnigan (Serve-Ag)
• PREDICTA Pt: How can you identify risks before they become a problem? Michael Rettke (SARDI)
• Update on ‘Investigating soil pH and nutrition as possible factors influencing pink rot in potatoes’: Dr Robert Tegg (TIA)
• Simplot Ag R&D disease-related projects overview: Dr Audrey Leo (Simplot)
• Update on ‘Mechanisms and manipulation of resistance to powdery scab in potato roots’: Professor Calum Wilson (TIA)
• Options and approaches for managing soil borne disease and promoting plant health (Panel session)
Our demonstration site in Richmond, southern Tasmania, is hosted by Harvest Farms. In 2018, a trial was established to examine the costs and benefits of quality compost as an organic soil amendment on spinach babyleaf crop yield and quality.
Find out the soil pathogen DNA results from 2020 (year 3 of the trial) in this update. Keep an eye out for a full report on the trial results which will be released shortly.
Soil organic matter, biology and mineralisation – The challenges & complexity of estimating mineralisation rates
AHR’s Marc Hinderager and Soilpack Services’ Ian Packer are teaming up to deliver a webinar on soil organic matter, soil biology and the challenges and complexity of estimating mineralisation rates in soils.
In this edition: choosing the right lime product to manage soil acidification, EGVID2020 celebrated at industry awards, videos available from our Victorian demo sites and new resources on boosting mycorrhizal fungi in vegetable crops.
Vegetable growers and industry members recently came together in South Australia to hear about pest and disease management.
There are many factors that contribute to strong environmental stewardship in the vegetable industry, and improving soil management and plant health is an important component of business sustainability. But when it comes to finding evidence of the strengths and gaps of your growing operation, it can be difficult to know where to start.
This article from our Partnership Network member EnviroVeg explains how the program can help growers identify these opportunities and take action to ensure their vegetable growing business is environmentally responsible.
In this edition: The future of integrated weed management technologies, demonstration site news from NSW and Victoria, new resources on healthy soils, blackleg in potato and drone regulations podcast.
Being part of a grower group has many benefits. It helps to be on the forefront of new developments in vegetable production and talk to other growers to share successes, challenges and support each other with new ideas.
A group of young growers have joined the Warren Improvement Group in Western Australia to provide a fresh focus on improving vegetable production in the Manjimup region. This case study explains more.
In this edition: Good Soils Guide, seasonal outlook for February to April, demonstration site news from Manjimup, Western Australia and Werribee South, Victoria, and new resources on choosing cover crops, organic soil amendments and spray rig calibration.
Wet and warm weather continues in 2021. Most vegetable regions are likely to see warmer and wetter than average conditions.
Vegetable growers in Australia can now access a comprehensive online resource to improve all aspects of soil health on-farm and increase the efficiency and profitability of their businesses.
The Good Soil Guide is a free online encyclopaedia specifically designed for growers and industry to use in the field. The resource was developed in the United Kingdom as a collaboration between Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire supply chain consultancy Future Food Solutions and soil scientist Neil Fuller.
In this edition: Focus topics announced for Soil Wealth ICP in 2021, demonstration site news from Richmond, Tasmania and new resources on foliar diseases, nutgrass, integrated weed management and pathogen DNA testing.
This fact sheet provides guidance on the importance of monitoring soilborne diseases, pathogens that can be tested, method for pathogen testing and tips for understanding and managing soilborne disease risks.
This guide summarises and provides easy access to useful resources developed by the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection project from December 2017 to July 2020.
Join Dr Kelvin Montagu (AHR) and Dr Shane Powell (University of Tasmania) for a webinar on the impacts of cover crops on soil biology where we consider the questions:
• How diverse are biological communities in vegetable soils?
• Do we see differences between sites (Tasmania to Queensland)?
• Do cover crops impact on the microbial communities?
• How do soil properties and management impact on the microbial community?
• What impact do biofumigants have on the soil microbial community?
Practical use of IrriSAT satellite imaging, weather data, and soil moisture sensors.
Irrigation decision making is one of the most significant factors affecting potato yield and quality. Join Dr. Kelvin Montagu and Marc Hinderager from the Soil Wealth / ICP project team discuss the new approaches to managing potato irrigation.
Learn about using the IrriSAT technology which combines evapotranspiration (ETo) and satellite imaging, and how to link this with data from direct soil moisture sensors, to help you schedule irrigation.
Marc and Kelvin discuss a recent case study conducted near Cowra, NSW to illustrate how the methods can work for potatoes.
The Soil Wealth ICP team was pleased to support the 2020 East Gippsland Vegetable Innovation Days (EGVID), which were held from 5-7 May in Lindenow.
Spanning over two hectares, the EGVID demonstration site offered countless rows of more than 20 vegetable crop types and around 2000 different varieties in total, ranging from lettuce and baby leaf varieties to broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and more – all growing strongly (thanks to some recent rainfall) and ready for data capture and dissemination.
During the week, the Soil Wealth ICP team organised live streams of the agri-chemical and seed trials at the site alongside event organisers and agronomists Stuart Grigg and Noel Jansz.
Management of rots, both in the field and post-harvest, is an ongoing challenge for potato producers. Agronomists Marc Hinderager and Dr Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyse discuss a trial that was set up to explore the effect of sanitisers and/or drying on the development of post-harvest bacterial soft rot in potatoes (9 min listen).
Pink rot of potato is an important soil-borne storage disease of potatoes worldwide. It is caused by the fungus Phytophthora erythroseptica and sometimes by P. cryptogea. Pink rot infection is often associated with secondary infection by anaerobic soft rot bacteria.
This fact sheet outlines the symptoms, hosts, risk factors and disease cycle of pink rot, as well as potential management options.
Soil-borne diseases present an ongoing challenge to the Australian vegetable industry, with an estimated $120 million in losses annually.
Soil-borne diseases may be caused by fungi, bacteria, water moulds, nematodes and viruses living in the soil. These pathogens are able to survive for long periods on plant debris, organic matter or sometimes as free-living organisms, i.e. not requiring a plant host. The ability to survive for long periods in the soil, and often having a wide host range, makes control of soil-borne diseases difficult.
Listen to this podcast of the the webinar recording by Dr Len Tesoriero.
Trialling different management practices, technologies or varieties on-farm is a great way to 'road test' the change before implementing at a larger scale.
Read this fact sheet for further guidance on planning, choosing sites and data collection for designing your on-farm trial. There's also a handy trial protocol checklist provided to make sure you're covering the right information.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of summer root rot.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of club root.
Vegetable growers and their advisers have identified soilborne diseases as one of their main challenges. Soilborne diseases cost Australia’s $4 billion vegetable industry an estimated $120 million each year.
This paper outlines the main soilborne diseases affecting major Australian vegetable crops and determine RD&E activities, and was included in the 10th Australasian Soilborne Diseases Symposium proceedings in 2018.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of bottom rot.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of black rot.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of big vein.
A short video presented by Dr Len Tesoriero on the identification, causes and management of basal plate rot.
Fusarium is a genus of common soilborne fungi. Most live as saprophytes on decaying plant matter while a few are also important plant pathogens.
While there are many different pathogenic Fusarium species, some of the most damaging diseases are caused by strains of one species complex, Fusarium oxysporum. They cause vascular wilt diseases by entering the roots and colonising the water-conducting tissue (xylem). This causes older leaves to yellow and plants eventually wilt and die.
For more information read this practical fact sheet on fusarium wilt diseases, factors that favour fusarium diseases, and management strategies.
Clubroot is one of the most potentially devastating soil borne diseases affecting brassica vegetables (e.g. cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts) in Australia. Once plants are infected there are no effective control measures.
Read this fact sheet to find out more about identifying clubroot, clubroot management strategies including integrated approaches, as well as evaluating clubroot risk.
The role of soil DNA testing in managing the risk of soilborne diseases – how is it being used and what can it do?
Soilborne diseases pose a significant threat to vegetable crop health and losses. Disease pressure and prevalence is influenced by a number of factors including block selection, crop rotation, varieties, nutrition, irrigation and fumigation.
Watch this informative and practical session to get the latest updates from Dr Michael Rettke, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Dr Doris Blaesing, RMCG.
Sclerotinia rot, also known as white mould, is one of the major diseases of green beans in Australia. Sclerotinia rot can cause significant yield losses during the cropping season as well as post-harvest damage.
Read this fact sheet to discover more about identyfing slerotinia, management options, important irrigation timings and further reading.
Sclerotinia rot is also known as white mould, cottony rot, drop of lettuce and nesting of beans after harvest.
Sclerotinia rot can also cause significant yield losses during cropping and as a post-harvest disease.
This factsheet outlines the disease life cycle and managment options.
Demonstration site report prepared for VG15010 A Multi-faceted approach to soilborne disease management by Francis Tedesco, Center West Exports, Justin Wolfgang, C-Wise, Doris Blaesing, RMCG
A large-scale compost trial was conducted with Center West Export (CWE) and C-Wise in the Gingin area of Western Australia (WA).
This report presents the methodology, key findings and recommendations from the trial, including an in-depth desktop review of the main Pythium species affecting carrots in Australia identified as P. sulcatum (in most cases) and P. violae (in some cases).
Article by Len Tesoriero
A group of Australian growers and industry representatives recently attended the 4th biennial international spinach conference in Mercia, Spain. Among the wide range of topics presented they heard about research on key diseases with a strong emphasis on those affecting crops across Europe and North America. Some of these diseases pose a significant biosecurity risk to Australian producers while others are already affecting local crops.
Article by Stuart Grigg and Carl Young
February 14 and 15 2018 saw the International Spinach Conference converge on the Northern Hemisphere’s winter vegetable growing hub of Murcia, Spain. A contingent of 14 spinach enthusiasts from Australia comprising growers and industry representatives attended the conference and associated production tour facilitated by EGVID Pty Ltd. The largest spinach stakeholders globally attended the International Spinach Conference which has previously been held in the US, Europe and China to discuss the latest trends and issues the industry faces.
Short report by Len Tesoriero and Donna Lucas
A preliminary field trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of chemical and biological control treatments for damping off pathogens in spinach. We demonstrated that three fungicide treatments significantly reduced the area of diseased plants within beds, however, they did not significantly increase overall spinach yield compared to untreated controls. This is most likely due to other variables affecting plant growth in the trial area.
Watch this webinar recording to learn about the latest techniques in managing the soilborne disease Fusarium wilt in vegetable crops including solanaceous, legumes, cucurbits and sweet potatoes and to understand the latest ways of managing this disease to keep your plants in production for longer and improve yield and pack out rates.
This guide summarises useful information developed by the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) Phase 1 projects from 2014-2017, and where to find it. These resources are relevant to all major vegetable growing regions in Australia. The resources developed includes fact sheets (51), case studies (12), videos and apps (36), e-newsletters (32 editions), as well as demonstration site information. The main topics covered by these resources include crop management, pest and disease management, and soil, nutrition and compost.
All the resources in this guide can be found on this project website.
Biopesticides are a diverse group of pest control products based on naturally occurring biochemicals, minerals and microbes. They generally have very low toxicity to humans and are sustainable with minimal environmental impacts. Many can be used in organic production.
Biopesticides often require a good understanding of pests and diseases to be used effectively. They help to manage, rather than completely control pests. Biopesticides are therefore best used in an integrated approach rather than as simple replacements for conventional pesticides.
Read this fact sheet to find out more about plant extracts, microbial pesticides, natural chemicals/minerals and biochemicals, including their availability, application, developments, challenges, advantages and disadvantages.
In this article in Vegetables Australia, researchers Dr Doris Blaesing and Dr Len Tesoriero discuss the Pythium
species that cause cavity spot and forking in carrots. This is one of several soil borne diseases under the
microscope in a vegetable levy-funded project that aims to assist growers in the management of these diseases.
This article appeared in Vegetable Australia, May/June pp16-17.
Calcium Cyanamide Fertiliser, also known as nitrolime, has been used in Germany as a slow release nitrogen and calcium fertiliser with liming e ect for over 100 years. It was introduced into Australia by the German manufacturer Alzchemie AG Germany (www.alzchem.com) in 1996.
This webinar with Nematode specialist Dr Sarah Collins from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA focused on the pest nematode, outlining the life cycles of the root-knot and root-lesion nematodes and how this can be used to target control measures.
The webinar also covered beneficial free living nematodes and how these can be managed and used as soil health indicators.
Members of the Soil Wealth and ICP team were recently interviewed for the Potatoes Australia magazine. The key message? Many of the soil health and plant protection practices relevant to vegetables, also apply to potatoes.
Click through to read the article.
The farm walk on cover crops by Kelvin Montagu was streamed by Good Fruit and Vegetables and can be viewied here.
Issues with damping off in spinach? This useful fact sheet provides an overview of the symptoms and conditions that favour different pathogens causing damping off such as Pythium spp, Phytophthora spp, Fusarium spp and Rhizoctonia spp. Knowing the causal pathogen can aid selection of effective management and control strategies.
There's also handy information on how the fungi spread, susceptibility and severity, diagnosis, and how to manage damping off, including practices to keep in your 'toolbox'.
Soil borne diseases are a serious concern for the vegetable industry, but can be managed, according to NSW Department of Primary Industries Senior Plant Pathologist, Dr Len Tesoriero. Dr Tesoriero has given a number of interesting and practical presentations at recent industry events on managing soil borne diseases in vegetable crops.
Will a potential change to soil management increase profit? How do we assess whether a change we’ve already made was profitable? One way to answer these questions is to use a ‘partial budget’. A partial budget assesses additional revenue and reduced revenue, additional costs and reduced costs to work out the net change in profit. A partial budget only includes items that change.
Vegetable growers and their advisers have identified soil borne
diseases as one of their main challenges for soil management
and crop protection. Soil borne diseases cost Australia’s $4 billion
vegetable industry an estimated $120 million each year.
The Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects provide R&D extension services, products and communication on improved soil management and plant health to the Australian vegetable industry.
From 2014 to 2017, RMCG and AHR have delivered the projects for Horticulture Innovation Australia. Phase 1 of the projects have now been completed. So, what’s been achieved?
Two Pythium species are mostly responsible for forking and cavity spot of carrots in Australia. In most cases, P. sulcatum cause the symptoms.
While some general rules apply, especially the need for managing soil moisture, pH, soil calcium and crop maturity; carrot producers should find their own optimum combination of additional management strategies that fit their production systems and growing conditions.
Read this useful fact sheet to find out more about what causes cavity spot and forking in carrots, as well factors affecting cavity spot development and management approaches.
A webinar on nutrition management and plant disease presented by Dr Len Tesoriero as part of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects.
A webinar on biofumigation cover crops presented by Julie Finnigan and Dr Kelvin Montagu as part of the Soil Wealth and Integrated Crop Protection projects.
VG15010 ran from 2015-2018 providing Australian vegetable growers with new tools and knowledge to better manage the risk of crop losses from soil-borne disease.
All the project outputs are available on the Soil Wealth ICP website under the Soilbourne disease topic area.
This project was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the vegetable industry research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government.
Read this great summary of carrot disorders to better understand what may be affecting your carrot packout. This includes corky brown rot, cavity spot, sclerotinia rot and violet root.
This poster was prepared by By Dr. Hoong Pung & Pam Cox, Serve-Ag Research in Tasmania.
A webinar on sclerotinia management presented by Dr Len Tesoriero.
This project has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the vegetable levy and funds from the Australian Government
Match your main soil management aim to the southern Australian summer cover crops.
The Soils in Schools program started in 2015, the UN declared International Year of Soils. It is an initiative of Soil Science Australia.
This programs vision is to communicate and educate school children on the relevance of soils in everyday life and to encourage a wider interest in our soil resources.
The Soil Wealth and ICP projects have managed a demonstration site at Kalfresh since early 2015.
The results from the demonstration site confirm that by following four principles in managing vegetable cropping soils, both soil condition and financial returns can be maximised. It’s a true win:win situation.
Match your main soil management aim to the southern Australian winter cover crops.
How to control Pythium in vegetable crops with Dr Len Tesoriero. Video of a Webinar run on the 31st March 2016 with DR Len Tesoriero (NSW DPI) and Dr Kelvin Montagu from AHR.
Vegetable pathologist, Dr Len Tesoriero and AHRs Dr Kelvin Montagu, recently presented a highly successful webinar on how to manage the soil borne disease Pythium in vegetable crops.
The webinar was recorded, and is now available as a YouTube video. You can click on the link below to watch the full Webinar. You can also download the presentation and follow the link to an ICP factsheet on how to manage soil borne disease in vegetable crops.
Dale Gies outlines the importance of correct establishment and water and nutrient requirements of biofumigant crops.
Soil-borne diseases are a major threat to vegetable production and now a new project is tackling the problem.
Vegetable growers and advisors discuss how attending a master class has changed the way they manage soilborne diseases and influenced their business.
Vegetable growers and advisors talk about how implementing integrated crop protection and new soil management practices has changed their business.
Part 2 of 5 of a Green Crops and Biofumigation seminar presented by Dale Gies from High Performance Seeds Inc, Washington, USA. Seminar hosted by Serve-Ag Tasmania, February 2015 and broadcast by Soil Wealth.
Part 1 of 5 of a Green Crops and Biofumigation seminar presented by Dale Gies from High Performance Seeds Inc, Washington, USA. Seminar hosted by Serve-Ag Tasmania, February 2015 and broadcast by Soil Wealth.
Internal rot in capsicum is an infection on the seeds, placenta or internal wall(s) of capsicum red fruit. Normally, symptoms are only seen once the fruit is cut open. The external appearance of the fruit is completely normal.
The disease leads to downgrades and rejections of fruit on the market, and affected fruit often progress right through the supply chain, to consumers.
The purpose of this factsheet is to bring together the most up to date information on the cause(s), control and prevention of internal rot in capsicums.
This publication from ATTRA (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service) in the United States provides information on improving disease suppression within soil.
Biofumigation is the use of specialised cover crops, which are grown, mulched and incorporated into the soil prior to cropping. High biomass, especially roots, can provide the traditional benefits of green manure crops, and if done right, naturally occurring compounds from the biofumigant plants can suppress soil-borne pests, diseases and weeds.
The guide to common diseases & disorders of bunching vegetables (2003, 58 pages) was produced by the R&D levy funded project VG010045. The diseases and disorders listed in this book often occur on bunching vegetables in Australia and several can occur on plants at the same time.
This "Guide to Common Diseases of Parsley" (2006, 46 pages), describes 18 parsley diseases and disorders common across Australia. Symptoms are clearly shown in over 30 colour photos and practical control measures are suggested.
Elizabeth Minchinton, Len Tesoriero, Desmond Auer, Heidi Martin
Many carrot and celery diseases and disorders also affect parsley and several can occur on plants at the same time. This guide was produced by the R&D levy funded project VG04025.
The popularity of Asian vegetables has increased in recent years amongst consumers with a range of uses, including salad and baby leaf mixes. With increased demand has come the need to manage losses caused by pests and disease. Critical to the successful management of pest and diseases in any vegetable crop, is an understanding of the main pests and diseases known to affect each crop
Sole reliance on fumigants like Metham Sodium often changes soil conditions and reduces inherent disease suppressive soil properties, reinforcing continued reliance on fumigation to deal with soilborne diseases, pests and weeds.
New management strategies for lettuce drop and white mould of beans.
This website contains a series of documents to guide you through the successful prodution of lettuce.
This helpful fact sheet outlines the key information required to get the best out of your chemical application.
Want to regain control over chemical-resistant pests? Aiming to reduce costs while meeting quality assurance requirements? The Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) extension team has developed a series of five fact sheets to assist growers manage Mega Pests.
Want to regain control over chemical-resistant pests? Aiming to reduce costs while meeting quality assurance requirements? The Integrated Crop Protection (ICP) extension team has developed a series of five fact sheets to assist growers manage Mega Pests.
This website contains a series of documents to guide you through the successful prodution of Brassica crops.
This website contains a series of documents to guide you through the successful prodution of sweet corn.
Specialists in all areas of brassica production, including insect, disease, nematode, weed and virus have combined to pool current knowledge on best practice IPM principles.
Rather than prescriptive rules for each problem, the information provides knowledge and general principles that you can use to plan for an integrated approach to crop production.
This document incorporates information essential for the economic and sustainable control of sclerotinia in lettuce.
The following document incorporates information essential for economic and sustainable control of sclerotinia in green beans.
This guide has been produced in conjunction with participating greenhouse growers to provide a practical guide to help you to economically and effectively introduce preventative and integrated control strategies to manage pests and diseases in your greenhouses.
This book provides a diagnostic guide and a key reference for diseases affecting vegetable crops in Australia.