Disease hot topic at BCG’s Main Field Day


The disease management best practice sessions at BCG’s Main Field Day on Wednesday the 13th of September at Kinnabulla will provide valuable information for growers and advisers. Disease experts Dr Joshua Fanning and Dr Hari Dadu from Agriculture Victoria will discuss the risks of Botrytis, Sclerotinia white mould, Ascochyta blight, Septoria tritici blotch (STB), stripe rust, net form and spot form of net blotch this season and what growers can do now and next season to lessen yield and quality downgrades.

Plant Pathology Research Leader Joshua Fanning believes disease severity and associated yield loss will depend heavily on conditions in spring and into harvest: “Currently, disease pressure this season is high with carryover of inoculum from 2022 crops on stubble—for example botrytis and Ascochyta blight and sclerotes—for example Sclerotinia.

“Significant yield losses were observed because of pulse diseases during 2022. My presentation at BCG’s Main Field Day on the 13th will assist growers in preventing similar yield losses in 2023, based on current conditions.”

Dr Fanning will highlight the importance of understanding the system as a whole in reducing disease pressure: “We know diseases are best controlled from the start of the season in pulses. Once some diseases establish i.e., Botrytis, it is more difficult to control. Management of pulse diseases are directly relatable to paddock risk, including crop rotation, varietal resistance, current disease symptoms and the seasonal conditions. Growers need to be monitoring for disease in all crops this season. We’ll be discussing how to action a plan to prevent and control disease, keeping in mind management to prevent fungicide resistance.”

Senior Research Scientist with Agriculture Victoria Dr Hari Dadu will focus his presentation on the 13th of September on Septoria tritici blotch (STB) of wheat, stripe rust of wheat, net form and spot form of net blotch in barley. “The wet start to the season, along with inoculum carryover from 2022, has provided ideal conditions for diseases such as Septoria tritici blotch, powdery mildew and stripe rust of wheat, net form and spot form of net blotch in barley to develop and spread earlier than usual,” Dr Dadu said.

Dr Dadu believes that with the current indicators, there is a potential risk to grain yield and quality unless there’s a dry spring and the upper canopy isn’t affected. “Fungicide strategies need to reflect the paddock risk including varietal resistance and seasonal conditions. I will be walking growers and advisers through best practices for managing these diseases at BCG’s event on the 13th at Kinnabulla.”

Renowned disease expert Dr Nick Poole will also present at BCG’s Main Field Day, highlighting the stripe rust lessons learnt from 2022 and the next steps for growers this season and in the years ahead regarding disease management and fungicide resistance.

Following the in-field sessions, growers and advisers will come together in the marquee to hear from Michaela Alexander from the Bureau of Meteorology who will explain the latest climate tools available, Peter Hayman from PIRSA-SARDI who will discuss the risk versus reward of on-farm decision making and Tony Catt from Catapult Wealth presenting Passing the baton in succession planning.

As part of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub North West Node, this year the BCG Main Field Day will have a focus on how farmers can build resilience in times of drought. By gaining information regarding best practice and the latest advances in research, agronomy and chemistry the event aims to provide attendees with the tools needed to capitalise in good years and weather the bad.

The event will begin at 9am with onsite catering available from lunch through to drinks at the conclusion of the day. The event will be held at BCG’s Main Research Site at Kinnabulla, seven kilometres west of Kinnabulla on Kinnabulla West Road. This event is free for BCG members and $50 for non-members. To become a member, visit bcg.org.au For more information on becoming a member or regarding the field day call (03) 5492 2787.

This event is part funded through the BCG managed North West Broadacre node of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, which is supported by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.


The Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub is a state-wide collaboration of 10 organisations.

Led by the University of Melbourne and with headquarters at UM’s Dookie Campus, the Vic Hub is a Partnership between five farming organisations (Birchip Cropping Group, Food & Fibre Gippsland, Mallee Regional Innovation Centre, Riverine Plains and Southern Farming Systems), four universities (UM, Deakin, Federation and La Trobe), and the State Government (through Agriculture Victoria).

One of eight hubs established nationally under the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF), the Vic Hub works to enhance the drought preparedness and resilience of Victoria’s agricultural industries, the environment and regional communities, encompassing broader agricultural innovation. Engaging with a range of industry and community stakeholders, the Vic Hub links research with community needs for sustainable outcomes.

Media Contacts

Janine Batters, Media and Communications Manager
Birchip Cropping Group
[email protected] | 0400 504 330

Samantha Schelling, Communications Officer
Victorian Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub
[email protected] | 0403 106 404

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