Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority

Toolangi, Australia

Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority

Toolangi, Australia
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Mattner S.W.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Milinkovic M.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Villalta O.N.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2017

Powdery mildew (caused by Podosphaera aphanis) and leaf blotch (caused by Gnomoniopsis fructicola) are important diseases of strawberry in nursery and fruit production regions of Australia. Myclobutanil, trifloxystrobin and penthiopyrad are registered for control of powdery mildew in Australia, but are not restricted to either nursery or fruit production. Due to the specific mode of action of these fungicides against P. aphanis, their repeated use over the successive stages of strawberry runner and then fruit production may increase the risk of fungicide resistance in the pathogen. Currently, there is no fungicide registered for control of G. fructicola in strawberry in Australia. A series of field trials in Queensland and Victorian strawberry nurseries over two seasons (2013/14 to 2014/15) evaluated the efficacy of 19 fungicide and biorational products, applied alone or as part of a program (in combination with other products), against powdery mildew and leaf blotch. Our aim was to manage the risk of fungicide resistance by developing disease control programs specifically for use in the strawberry runner nurseries with different activity groups to the fungicides used in strawberry fruit production. Treatments were applied weekly using a knapsack sprayer starting December/January for approximately 16 weeks until prior to harvest of runners in March/April. Runners were randomly selected and rated for the incidence of powdery mildew and leaf blotch prior to harvest. Where single fungicide treatments were applied (2013/14), the field trial results identified bupirimate, cyflufenamid, quinoxyfen, proquinazid, azoxystrobin + difenoconazole, as equally or more effective in controlling powdery mildew as the industry standard program of sulphur, myclobutanil and trifloxystrobin. Field trials in 2014/15 assessed spray programs that were based on sulphur in different combinations with quinoxyfen, bupirimate, cyflufenamid and/or with reduced applications of myclobutanil and trifloxystrobin. All programs were as effective against powdery mildew as the industry standard program. Azoxystrobin + difenoconazole, prochloraz, and chlorothalonil were the most effective against leaf blotch in trials in 2013/14 and 2014/15. It is anticipated that the coordinated use of different chemistries across the strawberry nursery and fruit industries will reduce the risk of fungicide resistance developing in pathogen populations, and increase the sustainability of disease protection across strawberry crops.


Arioli T.,Seasol International | Arioli T.,Australian National University | Mattner S.W.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Mattner S.W.,La Trobe University | Winberg P.C.,University of Wollongong
Journal of Applied Phycology | Year: 2015

A rapidly growing world population has highlighted the need to significantly increase food production in the context of a world with accelerating soil and water shortages as well as climatic stressors. This situation has generated new interest in the application of liquid seaweed extracts because of their potent plant growth-enhancing properties through metabolic benefits, triggering disease response pathways and increasing stress tolerance. The basis for these benefits is complex and poorly understood. Liquid seaweed extracts are complex and have been demonstrated to possess novel mechanisms for increasing crop productivity. The benefits of seaweed extracts to crops have previously been reviewed in the context of the northern hemisphere, but not in the context of Australia, its crops and unique stressors. This review considers the application of seaweed extracts in Australian agriculture by (i) introducing the history of the Australian liquid seaweed extract industry and (ii) focusing on evidence of Australian research related to seaweed extract composition, plant growth properties during plant establishment, pathogenic disease and new approaches to phenotyping the biological efficacy of seaweed extracts. This type of research is essential for future Australian agriculture to develop effective strategies for the use of liquid seaweed extracts. © 2015, The Author(s).


Milinkovic M.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Mattner S.W.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | House L.T.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Greenhalgh F.C.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2017

Soil-less systems were evaluated for the production of strawberry transplants, and the performance of the transplants was assessed for runner production in the field. The number of stolon tips and plug plants produced using a hydroponic system was greater (by an average of 88%) in a screenhouse than when not under cover. In the screenhouse, yields of transplants of most cultivars were higher (by up to 90%) in the hydroponic system than in large bins containing substrate (70:30 mix of coir and composted pine bark). Yields of transplants were also generally higher (by up to 96%) in the hydroponic system in the screenhouse compared with field production in soils treated with methyl bromide (MB)/chloropicrin (Pic). Plug transplants from the hydroponic system produced higher runner yields (double) than bare-rooted mother plants when they were planted in the field in soils treated with 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D)/Pic or Pic, but not when they were grown in soils treated with MB/Pic. This was most likely due to the earlier stolon growth of plug plants compared with barerooted mother plants, which provided cover and competed better with the high populations of weeds in soils treated with 1,3-D/Pic or Pic. The use of plug plants combined with substitute fumigants to MB/Pic, and possibly other integrated treatments including herbicides, warrants further investigation as an alternative system to one using soil fumigation with MB/Pic for runner production.


Constable F.E.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Nancarrow N.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Kelly G.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Rodoni B.C.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | And 3 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2016

Certified high health strawberry runners are supplied to strawberry fruit growers across Australia through the Victorian and Queensland strawberry runner certification schemes that maintain high quality nucleus plants. Nucleus collections are tested annually for the major endemic strawberry viruses as well as bacterial and fungal diseases. For over 50 years these high health plants have contributed greatly to increased yields for Australian strawberry growers due to the exclusion of the major pathogens from industry. New strawberry cultivars are imported into Australia as tissue culture plants and these are grown and tested in post entry quarantine (PEQ) for the presence of exotic fungi, bacteria and viruses. Imported strawberry plants remain in PEQ for a minimum of 12 or 18 months if they originate from approved and non-approved sources, respectively. Validated molecular diagnostic protocols for endemic and exotic pathogens have been developed under Australian conditions and incorporated into an operational manual alongside traditional biological testing methods to support the biosecurity of the strawberry industry through post entry quarantine testing and certification programs. An on-farm biosecurity plan is being developed in collaboration with the strawberry industry to protect strawberry runner plants from exotic and endemic pests and diseases that are important to the biosecurity of the certification scheme.


Mattner S.W.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Milinkovic M.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Merriman P.R.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Porter I.J.,La Trobe University
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2014

The Australian strawberry industry has trialled substitutes to methyl bromide (MB)/chloropicrin (Pic) mixtures for soil disinfestation since 1995. The research supported the registration of Pic and 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D)/Pic products in Australia, and these were rapidly adopted by the strawberry fruit industry in 2006. This transition reduced emissions of MB to the atmosphere by 120 t pa. Generally, the substitute fumigants have delivered similar fruit yields to MB/Pic, but the incidence of diseases caused by previously obscure pathogens, such as Fusarium spp. and Macrophomina phaseolina, has increased. In contrast, research in the strawberry runner industry shows that the registered substitute fumigants (viz. 1,3-D/Pic, Pic, dazomet and metham sodium) can cause severe incidences of phytotoxicity, and crop losses of up to 40%. This is related to the high organic matter (5-10%) and clay content (>50%) of soils in Toolangi, Victoria, where strawberry runners are grown. These factors combined with cold temperatures at fumigation (5-12°C) have contributed to long retention times of substitute fumigants in soil. Alternative fumigants with high vapour pressures, such as methyl iodide, have successfully disinfested soils in these environments, but were recently withdrawn in Australia. Certification authorities do not approve the use of substitute fumigants for runner production, and the industry currently applies for 29.79 t of MB pa under a critical-use exemption. The industry does, however, produce its early generations of runners using coir-based substrates, which reduces the need for disinfestation with MB/Pic. These systems are not economically feasible for later generations because runner prices would need to increase by more than 500% to make them viable. Current research is investigating the combined use of low-rate fumigants and herbicides for soil disinfestation in the runner industry, with the aim of reducing the risk of crop phytotoxicity from individual products.


Riches D.A.,La Trobe University | Mattner S.W.,Victorian Strawberry Industry Certification Authority | Davies R.,CBASF Australia Ltd | Porter I.J.,La Trobe University
Soil Research | Year: 2016

Intensive vegetable production in southern Australia is characterised by high inputs of nitrogen (N) fertiliser, water, and occasionally animal manures, which creates the potential for high nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Three field experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of the nitrification inhibitors 3, 4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP), 3-methyl pyrazole plus 1H-1,2,4 triazole (3MP+TZ), and dicyandiamide (DCD) on N2O emissions and yields in broccoli (Brassica oleracea), lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and cauliflower (Brassica oleracea) crops in southern Australia. The inhibitor treatments on fertilisers and poultry manure were compared with standard commercial practice for vegetable crops in this region, and N2O emissions were measured using manual chambers through to harvest. Daily fluxes ranged from 0.81gN2O-Nha-1day-1 for untreated soil to 11.65gN2O-Nha-1day-1 for manure treated soil. Extrapolation of these results translate to annual emissions of 0.30kgN2O-Nha-1year-1 to 4.24kgN2O-Nha-1year-1, respectively. Cumulative soil N2O fluxes from the manure treatments were ∼4-fold greater than the standard inorganic fertiliser program for a given crop. Nitrous oxide direct emission factors were in the range 0.02-0.16% for inorganic fertilisers and from 0.19% to 0.43% for poultry manure. The greatest decrease in N2O emissions occurred when DMPP or a combination of 3MP+TZ were added to poultry manure (62% and 66% decrease, respectively). Decreases in N2O emissions from nitrification inhibitors were smaller and less consistent when used with inorganic fertilisers, but DMPP decreased emissions in two out of three trials, with a maximum decrease of 32% observed in the broccoli trial. DCD proved ineffective for mitigating N2O emissions in all trials. © CSIRO 2016.

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