A HORSHAM research scientist is seeking samples from pulse and oilseed farmers, as part of nationwide study on soil-borne pathogens affecting yield.
Pulse pathologist Dr Joshua Fanning is collaborating with scientists from four other states, to figure out why growers have been seeing patches in their pulse paddocks for several years.
Dr Fanning said often these were put down to bad soil or a soil constraint.
"When we've looked into the soil constraints, we've found there are patches of disease in these paddocks as well," he said.
"We've been able to isolate a lot of pathogens from these patches, and we are trying to narrow down which of these are the main causes of these patches. We're seeing these patches get anywhere from 10 to 20 centimetres up to 30 metres."
The pathogens include Didymella, Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Macrophomina.
"We've seen in terms of diseases, Phytophthora can cause up to 100 per cent yield loss in some areas. Most soil-borne diseases we are seeing up to 30 per cent yield loss in a bad season," Dr Fanning said.
"We are seeing it right across Victoria. I thought I was going to be special standing up at a national meeting representing GRDC recently, when I stood up and said my piece about the patches.
"Then pathologists from NSW, South Australia and Western Australia got up and said the exact same thing, and we realised it was a nationwide issue. that's why this is a national project: We're quite surprised it's occurring everywhere."
Dr Fanning said farmers interested in supplying root samples could contact GRDC
"We are accepting samples all year," he said. "We only need 12 to 15 plants, and then we will provide a results report back to the grower."
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