Innovation in disease management; where to next : ASSCT peer-reviewed paper
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New technologies offer considerable scope for the refinement of disease management in the Australian sugarcane industry. While resistant cultivars, disease-free plant sources, crop termination and quarantine have provided a strong foundation for good disease management, the development of new technologies offers the possibility to make changes to data accumulation, analysis and application to industry. DNA- and NIR-based assay technology, remote sensing, drones, data digitisation, GIS and information databases offer the ability to capture huge additional amounts of relevant field data, enabling a better understanding of disease issues and the management required to minimise losses. This will also enable targeted extension of management strategies to individual farmers and industry sectors. Automated pathogen assays may also be possible, centred on the sugar factory. Step changes in disease management are likely in the next 5-10 years.