Be on the lookout for pasture dieback in Queensland
Graziers are urged to keep an eye out for pasture dieback, which is continuing to spread to new areas of Queensland.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has produced a fact sheet to help graziers identify and manage the condition, which causes the death of otherwise healthy pastures.
The fact sheet, which is available at www.futurebeef.com.au, outlines four management options based on eight years of research.
Principal Agronomist Stuart Buck said pasture dieback previously only affected high-yielding sown-grass pastures in regions with more than 600mm of average annual rainfall.
However, it was now spreading into drier western districts of southern, central and northern Queensland.
“Graziers have reported pasture dieback south and south-west of Injune, and in the Cloncurry and Alpha districts,” Mr Buck said.
“We have also received reports of pasture dieback spreading inland from the Darling Downs and south from the Wandoan district, with new detections in the Condamine, Balonne and Border Rivers catchments.
“Graziers should be on the lookout for symptoms during the summer growing season, when pasture dieback is easier to detect.
“Initial symptoms include leaf discoloration and unthrifty growth, before the pasture dies in patches.
“The dead patches are then colonised by broadleaf weeds or legumes—both of which are unaffected by pasture dieback.”
“Reporting pasture dieback through our app takes less than 5 minutes,” Mr Buck said.
“By uploading photos and describing the pasture species affected, you will help us better understand the spread of dieback.”
Pasture dieback research continues through the Queensland Pasture Resilience Program, a partnership between DAF and Meat & Livestock Australia through the MLA Donor Company.
More information about pasture dieback (including an identification guide, the new fact sheet with management options and a recent webinar recording) is available at www.futurebeef.com.au