Skip to main content

Your internet browser is out of date and not supported by this website. For the best viewing experience on wool.com, please update your browser to one of the options below.

Welcome to Wool.com

An innovation hub for the woolgrowers of Australia

You may also be interested in

26.05.2022 Source: AWEX
AWEX EMI 1420 -14
Micron 17 2717 -25
Micron 18 2224 -43
Micron 19 1746 -10
Micron 20 1432 -9
Micron 21 1354 -7
Micron 22 1329n -18
Micron 25 882n -3
Micron 26 694 -5
Micron 28 427 -1
Micron 30 342 +2
Micron 32 233n -7
MCar 996 +9
New tool tackles subterranean clover Red Leaf syndrome
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) in conjunction with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) have developed a fact sheet based on new research prompted by outbreaks in 2017.

AWI Project Manager – Production Systems & Wool Credentials, Melissa McAulay, said that the effective collaboration between the research and development corporations and researchers was key to finding the cause of the syndrome and delivering answers and management strategies to producers.

“By convening an expert panel of agronomists, researchers and producers, we have been able to identify the main cause of the syndrome as Soybean Dwarf Virus (SbDV). The research revealed that of the subterranean clover plants tested, 80% with obvious red leaves were infected with SbDV, compared to just 2% without obvious symptoms.”

Given current understanding and testing of samples, researchers believe that SbDV is the most likely cause of the red leaf syndrome but it is likely a number of other contributing stress factors are involved.

SbDV is spread by aphids and frequently infects subterranean clover. Symptoms of the virus include reddening leaves, stunted plant growth and premature plant death which can lead to significant loss of dry matter and seed production.

Ms McAulay added that if producers suspect their clover pasture is infected with SbDV, they are encouraged to send symptomatic leaf samples to the DPIRD diagnostic laboratory service for accurate diagnosis.

“This also enables the project team to develop a better understanding of the virus and likely causes of the disease,” Ms McAulay said.

MLA Program Manager – Value Chain Research, Development & Adoption, Dr David Beatty, said the fact sheet provides producers with a clear plan of attack if they are impacted or suspect Red Leaf syndrome in their clover pasture.

“Subterranean clover is one of the most widely used annual pasture legumes in Western Australia, and it forms an important part of many livestock pasture profiles,” Dr Beatty said.

“We’re encouraging all producers to read this fact sheet, as it’s through a greater understanding of the symptoms, transmission and impacts of the virus that we’ll be better placed to identify, treat and manage the risks, protecting important clover pastures from infection.”

To combat the risk and spread of SbDV, producers are encouraged to use a variety of control measures within an integrated disease management plan, including:

  • Use of insecticides only when the risk of early infection is high
  • Implementation of annual ryegrass or forage oats into pasture regimes, as grasses do not host SbDV.
  • Sow alternative legume species, such as Serradella, which do not appear to be affected by SbDV.
 Fact Sheets

 The fact sheet is available for download here.

Articles That Might Interest You
Dung Beetles
The benefits of dung beetles in a production system are many, including benefits for soil, water and pasture, as well as the biological control of flies. Read more
Fall Armyworm
Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) was first reported in Australia in February 2020 and quickly established across parts of Northern Australia’s tropical and sub-tropical regions, including northern Queensland, Northern Territory, and northern parts of Western Australia. Read more
Shrubs
The ongoing development of quality forage shrubs now delivers a variety of options for woolgrowers to fill feed gaps and manage previously unusable or unproductive land on their property. Read more