New app gets on top of dieback

News release | 01-Apr-2022

  • A new app will allow graziers to upload details of pasture dieback directly from the paddock
  • Accurate identification is difficult due to similarities with other conditions
  • Research suggests pasture mealybug is a primary factor but other pathogenic organisms and environmental conditions are likely to be involved
  • Using the Pasture Dieback Survey app will help researchers identify pasture dieback and confirm whether it’s spreading, reducing or static.

With pasture dieback very apparent in some parts of southern, central and northern Queensland, the release of a new app which allows landholders to record in-paddock damage is timely.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Senior Agronomist Stuart Buck said the Pasture Dieback Survey app would help researchers better understand where pasture dieback was occurring and whether it was spreading, reducing or static over time.

“Many areas received good rainfall before Christmas and with more rain falling in recent weeks, graziers need to be on the lookout for signs of pasture dieback—a condition that stunts growth and kills productive pastures,” he said.

“In the spring to autumn season, dieback areas are obvious in contrast to green healthy plants. Once affected, pastures can die within one season.

“Research indicates that a primary factor in pasture dieback is the pasture mealy bug, but a range of pathogenic organisms and environmental factors are likely to be involved. Accurate identification isn’t always straightforward because of similarities with other conditions.

“For a reliable diagnosis other potential causes need to be ruled out and this is where this new app comes in.

“Graziers can use the app out in the paddock, complete a survey and upload photos within a few minutes.

“In areas with poor reception, data can be saved and uploaded later.

“If you suspect you have pasture dieback call us on 13 25 23.”

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) General Manager for Research, Development and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said MLA was working with industry bodies, state departments and researchers across affected regions to support producers in combatting dieback.

“The red meat and livestock industry is working in close collaboration to respond to the on-farm challenges presented by pasture dieback, Mr Crowley said.

“The new app will help to improve our understanding of the recurring nature of pasture dieback so that red meat producers can develop more resilient management systems. 

“Our objective is to ensure pasture dieback research and development is focused on finding solutions for those affected by it and to provide valuable, up-to-date information to producers as it comes to hand.”

Meat and Livestock Australia contracted DAF to create the app, which can be downloaded from the App store and Google Play.

You can learn more about pasture dieback at futurebeef.com.au, and you can  register for our Pasture Dieback Industry Network at https://bit.ly/32OydKk

Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au