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A coordinated approach to minimising the impact of annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT) in agriculture

Annual ryegrass toxicity (ARGT) is an acute and often-fatal neurological disease caused by consumption of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) seed heads infected with the bacterium Rathayibacter toxicus.

The project focused on ARGT and its management relevant to the farming systems in South Australia and Western Australia. Management systems developed, ensuring close ties between researchers, farmer groups and industry bodies. Strong collaborative links were fostered with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and other related projects, to enhance the development of management options. This cooperative contribution delivered information to enable landholders to explore various options available to them to manage ARGT in an economical and sustainable way.

The project focused on

  • improving research and extension coordination

  • developing better adoption and greater effectiveness of current knowledge and practices for reducing the risk of ARGT

  • undertaking multiple on-farm demonstration studies to define the optimal use of a new ryegrass (Safeguard) that will provide equal or better nutritional value to that of naturalised Wimmera ryegrass but will not cause ARGT

  • promoting greater uptake and effectiveness of twist fungus for biological control of ARGT

  • implementing an effective ARGT surveillance system in order that changes in the incidence and impact of ARGT can be monitored.

The ability of the combination of these factors to reduce the cost of ARGT to agriculture, estimated to be approximately $40 million/year in Western Australian alone, was examined.

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738.4KB 09/12/2011

This page was last updated on 24/07/2017

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