A new network established by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is seeking to understand the level of knowledge grain growers and advisers have when it comes to managing fungicide resistance.

The Australian Fungicide Resistance Extension Network (AFREN) has been set up to provide growers with the information support they need to reduce the emergence and manage the impacts of fungicide resistance.

AFREN Extension Coordinator Kylie Ireland said an important step in developing useful and effective resources was understanding the level of knowledge growers and advisers have in the area of fungicide resistance – and for this reason a survey has been established.

“We really want to know what the current understanding is in regard to fungicide resistance management and how growers and advisers are using the tools they have available to make decisions, which is why we are encouraging all growers and advisers to complete the survey,” said Dr Ireland, from the GRDC and Curtin University co-invested Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM).

“Fungicide resistance is a serious and increasingly important issue in the Australian grains industry, and this investment is about providing growers and advisers with the tools and knowledge to prevent and manage its impact.”

The GRDC has established AFREN to develop and deliver a fungicide resistance management guide, workshops, information sessions and webinars, as well as crop-specific factsheets, updates and email alerts.

The project brings together regional plant pathologists, fungicide resistance experts, and communication and extension specialists from across the country. Project partners include AgCommunicators, Agriculture Victoria, CCDM, Centre for Crop Health at the University of Southern Queensland, Department of Primary Industries and Research Development (DPIRD) in Western Australia, Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) Australia, Independent Consultants Australia Network (ICAN), Marcroft Grains Pathology, South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) which is the research division of Primary Industries and Regions SA, and the University of Melbourne.

“Our partners bring a great diversity in experience and industry knowledge, and the AFREN team will work with the GRDC and CropLife Australia to deliver independent, best practice management advice to growers,” Dr Ireland said.

Management practices that reduce disease pressure and the number of fungicide treatments required can reduce the risk of resistance developing, as can responsible use of available chemistries.

Management strategies should be crop, disease and region specific, which is why AFREN will develop and deliver regionally specific resources.

Growers and advisers can participate in the survey and assist AFREN in tailoring extension messages via https://afren.com.au/survey-landing/

Growers and advisers with an interest in fungicide resistance are invited to connect with AFREN at www.afren.com.au or by contacting the project’s coordinator Dr Kylie Ireland at AFREN@curtin.edu.au.