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WA research points to natural disease suppression

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General
Ausplow consultant and former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper is part of a research team involved in world-leading research into the potential of soil-borne suppression of crown rot in wheat.

Ausplow consultant and former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper is part of a research team involved in world-leading research into the potential of soil-borne suppression of crown rot in wheat.

WA scientists are involved in world-leading research investigating the potential of soil-borne suppression of crown rot in wheat.
And it could lead to identifying other positive attributes of soil biota associated with disease suppression of plants, such as sclerotinia in canola, and root diseases including rhizoctonia, take-all and pythium root rot in cereals.
Involved with a research team, which released a paper last year on the subject, was Ausplow consultant and former CSIRO scientist and microbiologist Dr Margaret Roper.
According to Dr Roper the soil contains a huge variety and number of soil biota, “capable of many positive functions in the soil”.
In the paper’s conclusion, it said the screening of 53 isolates from a collection of endophytic Actinobacteria revealed several promising isolates.
“Two in particular, strongly suppressed growth of the (crown rot) fungus in plate cultures, and resulted in increases in grain yield compared to diseased controls in glasshouse experiments,” Dr Roper said.
She added that further studies were needed to verify the efficacy of the treatments at the field scale and to determine the mode of action and underlying genetics of biocontrol activity.
According to Dr Roper, management strategies to control crown rot are somewhat limited.
“Fungicide seed dressings are available, but they are often inactivated over time by environmental conditions,” Dr Roper said.
“Research has shown (anti-fungal) protection is usually best in the early stages of the plant growth cycle.
“Plant breeding has produced some more resistant varieties but none of these show robust and durable disease resistance in the field.
“An additional problem for crown rot control is that the fungal pathogens that cause the disease (F. pseudograminearum and F. culmorum) survive and continue to grow in the stubble left after harvest, increasing the risk of infection in the following crop.
“This can happen regardless of the level of resistance/tolerance of the wheat variety in the living phase of the crop.”
Dr Roper said studies from various locations throughout the world have shown that micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi), that produce secondary metabolites, play a significant role in the formation of disease suppressive soils.
Such work suggests that there remains considerable unexplored potential within soil microbial populations for further novel biocontrol products.
“One group of bacteria (actinobacteria) are very common in soils, survive well in our extreme WA soil environments and produce various bioactive agents including antibiotics, enzymes, and vitamins,” Dr Roper said.
“Actinobacteria can reside within a plant where they are protected from adverse environmental conditions and other microbial competitors.
“There are also other soil microbes which can colonize plants as endophytes and these are likely to be the most successful in suppressing plant pathogens.”
The research work, which Dr Roper has been involved with for more than 30 years, is an exciting development as Ausplow promotes its hypothesis of the near-row BioFurrow™ system of crop establishment.
Dr Roper said in the past inter-row sowing had been used to decrease disease risk, but trials in South Australia by Dr VVSR Gupta (CSIRO) have shown that the expression of root diseases such as rhizoctonia was less under near-row seeding, as distinct from inter-row sowing.
Dr Roper listed the following benefits of near-row seeding relative to inter-row sowing as:
1. Larger and more diverse microbial communities.
2. More water available to a new crop (in water-repellent soils).
3. Improved crop establishment.
4. Repellency declines during the season.
5. Improved yields in some years.
6. Fewer weeds.
7. Greater disease risk, BUT less disease incidence and severity.
Dr Roper’s research has shown that plant roots, preserved by no-till, behave as pathways for water infiltration, particularly in water repellent soils, to create an environment which can include the above benefits.
She said the combination of near-row sowing with the DBS sowing system creates the BioFurrow™ system of crop establishment, and this can provide significant benefits for a developing seedling.
“Firstly, the provision of liquid nutrients directly below the seed provides a source of water vapour for seed germination,” Dr Roper said.
“The ‘precision seed bed’, created by the DBS closing tool to provide a firm and aerated base for the seed, contains fine capillaries through which water vapour (from the liquid nutrients) can rise to the seed and promote germination.
“Scientific research also has presented evidence that water vapour is the primary source of water for seed germination in unsaturated soils.”
(This arguably, could be part of an explanation for why DBS owners report quicker germinations in dry sowing compared with other tillage systems.
The main conversation over the past nearly 30 years in regard to dry sowing, is that the DBS penetrates hard pans and promotes water capillarity, from subsoil moisture, to wet up the seed bed).
Ausplow will continue to support and promote Dr Roper’s research in field trials at Quairading.

Ausplow ‘stronger than ever’

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General
Ausplow consultant Dave Seagreen (left), his wife Chantale and Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM.

Ausplow consultant Dave Seagreen (left), his wife Chantale and Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM.

Boilermaker Emile Vasquez (left), his wife Lorena and daughter Marilou and Welder Teo Culanggo.

Boilermaker Emile Vasquez (left), his wife Lorena and daughter Marilou and Welder Teo Culanggo.

Fabricator Fretz Culanggo (left), Boilermaker Vladimir Lagus, Welder Christian Panaligan and Boilermaker/Welder Jose Lito.

Fabricator Fretz Culanggo (left), Boilermaker Vladimir Lagus, Welder Christian Panaligan and Boilermaker/Welder Jose Lito.

Factory Manager Gary Andrews (left) and Production Manager Titus Galsworthy.

Factory Manager Gary Andrews (left) and Production Manager Titus Galsworthy.

John Hanratty (left) his partner and Ausplow consultant Dr Margaret Roper and Bernadette Turner, partner of Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM.

John Hanratty (left) his partner and Ausplow consultant Dr Margaret Roper and Bernadette Turner, partner of Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM.

9.	Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM (left) and Service technician Dave Findlay.

9. Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM (left) and Service technician Dave Findlay.

Mandy Tham (left), Lyndell Jobson, Parts Manager Tim Jobson and General Manager Chris Farmer, who is partner to Mandy.

Mandy Tham (left), Lyndell Jobson, Parts Manager Tim Jobson and General Manager Chris Farmer, who is partner to Mandy.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM (centre) with Service Manager Ray Beacham (left) and Boilermaker/Welder Gordon Waycott, both of whom received awards for 20 years’ service with the company.

Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM (centre) with Service Manager Ray Beacham (left) and Boilermaker/Welder Gordon Waycott, both of whom received awards for 20 years’ service with the company.

11.	Mechanical fitter Rohan McRae (left), partner Caitlin Guthrie, Service Manager Ray Beacham and his wife Kay.

11. Mechanical fitter Rohan McRae (left), partner Caitlin Guthrie, Service Manager Ray Beacham and his wife Kay.

Management Accountant Rebeka Bautista (left), Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight and his partner Josie Sabouriaut.

Management Accountant Rebeka Bautista (left), Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Blight and his partner Josie Sabouriaut.

In a year of market uncertainty caused by a world pandemic and supply chain disruptions, Ausplow Farming Systems emerged stronger than ever.
That was the message from Ausplow General Manager Chris Farmer to staff, contractors and visitors during an end-of-year speech at the company’s Christmas wind-up at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club last Friday.
“It has been a very positive year for the company reflected by increased sales and forward orders going into 2023,” Mr Farmer said.
Ausplow Managing Director John Ryan AM said he was particularly pleased with the increased research and development activities by the company to further improve the DBS precision seeder and the Multistream air seeder, with liquid capabilities and a host of options to suit varying farming practices.
“We continue to push the envelope, so to speak, as we look for more ways for our owners to make money while improving their soils,” he said.
“And I believe we are in for more exciting times as we add to our R & D to-do list, which is focused on providing the optimum environment to successfully grow crops, particularly in rain-challenged years.”

Ausplow sponsors Nuffield Scholars

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General
Ausplow managing director John Ryan (left), general manager Chris Farmer and New Norcia farmer Peter Nixon catch up for a chat during last week's Nuffield Australian Farming Scholars annual Sponsors' Luncheon.

Ausplow managing director John Ryan (left), general manager Chris Farmer and New Norcia farmer Peter Nixon catch up for a chat during last week's Nuffield Australian Farming Scholars annual Sponsors' Luncheon.

New Norcia farmer Peter Nixon (left) with Ausplow managing director John Ryan, Bernadette Turner and Bindy Longmire, Beaumont, Esperance at last week's Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars annual Sponsors' Luncheon.

New Norcia farmer Peter Nixon (left) with Ausplow managing director John Ryan, Bernadette Turner and Bindy Longmire, Beaumont, Esperance at last week's Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars annual Sponsors' Luncheon.

AUSPLOW again was involved as a major sponsor of the Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars annual Sponsors’ Luncheon at the University Club, Nedlands on Friday, February 12. According to Ausplow managing director John Ryan his company’s involvement with Nuffield has its beginnings more than 20 years ago with one of the early DBS adoptees, New Norcia farmer Peter Nixon, a former Australian and world Nuffield chairman. “Many Nuffield Scholars are DBS owners,” John said. “They have contributed to the development of precision one-pass crop establishment using the DBS. “We have received some very good feedback on the performance of the DBS and Multistream which has led us to new designs and improvements. “In our sponsorship role, it has seen more solid foundations built between the company and Nuffield “Scholars and I genuinely look forward to the annual Luncheon to hear what Scholars have learnt or are implementing on their farms. “There is a strong synergy between Ausplow and Nuffield because both are always seeking innovation and change and not being satisfied with the status quo.” Ausplow has been an official sponsors of the Nuffield Luncheon for the past nine years.

Welcome to our new Web page

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General
Ausplow owner and managing director John Ryan AM.

Ausplow owner and managing director John Ryan AM.

Welcome to our new Web page.Right from the outset we want you to know that we are keen for your interaction with us to make this Web page a place you will want to check regularly. You’ll find in our Resource Hub how to get in contact with our technical experts as well as the opportunity to express any ideas you may have. We’re keen to ensure we maintain organic growth with our Web page and we have some exciting and exclusive features in the pipeline for our Ausplow owners. Throughout our "owners-only"archives section, you’ll find what we regard as snapshots of the evolving history of agriculture in terms of precision one-pass crop establishment and maybe pick up helpful advice from a previous DBS owner's experiences.. Ausplow has been a pioneer in broadacre precision seeding and has emerged as the leading Australian manufacturer of precision seeding tools. Ausplow is a unique Australian manufacturer and our owners can attest to the company’s commitment to its customers, which includes the best technical assistance available to ensure your Ausplow equipment works productively and reliably.