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Field Trip and Workshops


- Monday 26th August :  Field trip

- Tuesday 27th August : Workshop 1 (Nematology Workshop) +

Opening plenary commences at 4pm followed by Welcome Reception from 6.00pm.


- Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th August : ASDS Sessions

- Friday 30th & Saturday 31st August : Workshop 2 (Phytophthora Workshop)

Field Trip Tweed Valley

When: Monday 26 August 2024

Time: 8.00am departure and return approximately 4.30pm.

Depart: Peppers Salt Resort and Spa

Cost: $130 AUD

Join us to learn more about the crops and their problematic pathogens, the soils and the interactions of the three in the subtropical and spectacular Tweed Valley in the shadow of Wollumbin (Mt Warning). We will visit sugar cane, banana, avocado and sweet potato farms and hear how growers are managing the constraints of soil-borne diseases.


First stop will be Cudgen Road Farms ( The Prichard Family are third generation farmers and have a long history of collaboration with researchers. Mr Matthew Prichard will talk about the history of the farm and the soilborne diseases they are managing including root knot nematode and scurf. Dr Graham Stirling will discuss his trials examining the effects of organic amendments on nematode populations in the soil.


Our second visit with be a Sunshine Sugar approved seed plot site where cane planting material is grown to supply growers. The cane has been rotated with soybeans and we will hear about how soybeans are improving nitrogen fixation and soil health as part of a rotation with cane. We will also talk with the Sunshine Sugar agronomists to learn how the cane industry is managing the endemic oomycete pathogen, Pachymetra.


After lunch we will visit an avocado farm with a long history of management of Phytophthora root rot and a banana farm to hear how they are managing their soilborne disease constraints.


The 26th August bus tour will depart at 8am and return by 4:30pm and will include lunch. Make sure you have a hat and comfortable, closed in shoes as there will be some walking involved and shoes must be suitable for a foot bath.

Workshop 1: Nematology Workshop

When: Tuesday 27 August 2024

Time: 8.30am - 3.30pm

Where: Peppers Salt Resort and Spa

Cost: $110 AUD

Workshop only registrations are available, however preference will be given to delegates if numbers exceed capacity.  Workshop only registrations are the above plus $75.

Description: Root-Knot nematodes (RKN, Meloidogyne spp.) with their wide host ranges and ability to alter plant physiology are amongst the most destructive of soilborne pathogens in agricultural farming systems across the globe, including Australasia, where endemic species have recently been joined by the invasive Guava Root-Knot Nematode (GRKN, Meloidogyne enterolobii), as threats to the profitability and sustainability of our farming systems. This workshop brings together local expertise in RKN with visiting expert Dr Johan Desaeger from the USA where GRKN is currently causing serious issues. The workshop will combine seminar presentations with hands-on morphological identification sessions to give participants an up-to-date awareness of the latest research and information for detecting, identifying and dealing with these destructive pests. For more information download the flyer below.

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Workshop 2: Phytophthora Workshop

When: Friday 30 August 2024

Time: 8.00am

Departs: Peppers Salt Resort and Spa

Cost: $395 for Friday only and $575 (depending on numbers) for the two day with overnight stay.

Please note these costs are subject to numbers.  If any cost difference refunds will be issued, particularly if minimum numbers are not reached.

Workshop only registrations are available, however preference will be given to delegates if numbers exceed capacity.  Workshop only registrations are the above plus $75.

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Description: The oomycete genus Phytophthora includes devastating pathogens of natural and horticultural systems. P. cinnamomi is recognised as a Key Threatening Process to Australia’s biodiversity under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. In addition to direct losses due to plant deaths and habitat destruction, outbreaks of disease caused by Phytophthora impose significant management costs on growers and land managers. This workshop brings together experts to discuss the distribution of Phytophthora species across Australasia, identifying risks of emerging species and diseases, benchmarking for sampling, current and novel detection and identification methods, best practice in management and the development and implementation of nursery accreditation, and includes an optional overnight field visit.

Make sure you have a hat and comfortable, closed in shoes as there will be some walking involved and shoes must be suitable for a foot bath. Please also bring a jacket and warmer clothes as it can get cool at night especially.



Friday 30 August

7:30am  Depart Peppers Salt

8:00      Anderson’s Nursery, Duranbah - ANVAS Nursery and sniffer dog demonstration

12:00    Tropical Fruit World, Duranbah -  Lunch including presentations and discussion

  • Phytophthora in Australasia – taxonomy and evolution, metabarcoding, risks (Treena Burgess)

  • Sampling, detection and isolation (Lauren Walker)

  • Nurseries – risks, best practice and accreditation (David Guest)

  • Phosphite Roadmap project (Mark Garkaklis, Barbara Wilson)

  • Stakeholder engagement (Nari Williams)

4:00 Conclusion - if you wish to go back to Peppers or flights this can be arranged (pending demand).  NB: It is approximately 15 minutes to Peppers or 30 minutes to the airport from Tropical Fruit World.

Overnight option (Subject to weather, limited to 20 participants, bring warm clothes)

4:00  Travel to Boonah

6:00 Boonah  Check-in to accommodation

7:00 The Outlook, Boonah - Dinner and evening discussion

10:00 Conclusion

Saturday 31 August

8:00 Moogerah Peaks National Park

Phytophthora dieback field site

  • Impacts and management of Phytophthora dieback

  • Sniffer dog demonstration

12:00 Conclusion.  Return transport to Kingscliff and depending on demand transport to Coolangatta Airport.

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