Bundaberg Region farms have participated in a CQUniversity-led research project into the impact of downy mildew on basil crops which has the potential to prevent yield losses that cost the industry millions each year. In partnership with the Botanical Food Company, the project is coordinated by Research Officer Alison Jensen as part of the Hinkler AgTech Initiative.
“We’re currently working with the Botanical Food Company (BFC) and herb growers to develop improved strategies for management of downy mildew, which can cause potentially devastating yield loss in basil crops,” Alison said.
“As part of this project, we monitor when and where downy mildew occurs and use AgTech for automated measurement of factors that contribute to disease development, such as environmental conditions and the concentration of airborne spores. We can then use this data to develop a predictive model (based on the historical conditions that lead to disease outbreaks) to estimate the likelihood of a disease outbreak in the future.
“Growers involved in this project are already enthusiastic to see the data being collected, and so that in future they can make more informed decisions for crop management.” The basil downy mildew trials have been completed in the Bundaberg area but are still being conducted in the Biloela region.
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