Do you have pasture dieback?
Posted on Tuesday 21st January 2020
Researchers from the University of Queensland's Gatton campus are closing in on the mystery of what's causing pasture dieback.
The research team at UQ have found the white ground pearl, Margarodes australis, at about a dozen pasture dieback sites across the state - including Gatton and Thornton - and are now asking farmers to check their own affected paddocks.
While researchers are stopping short of saying that white ground pearls are definitely the culprit, they have been able to confirm that they are present at numerous pasture dieback sites in Queensland and northern NSW.
While the presence of mealybug has been linked to dieback, the UQ team now believe that it's more likely to be the white ground pearl at the root of the problem.
The focus will now turn to securing funding for further research but in the meantime primary producers can play their part in the search for answers.
Graziers have been asked to look at pasture dieback affected areas on their properties by digging up to 30cm below the surface and then to get in contact with details of what they've found to help build a database.
Image: Pasture dieback on the UQ Gatton campus, where researchers have found white ground pearls at the root level of grasses.