Be alert for pasture dieback

Beef Central, 30/01/2023

Arcadia Valley beef producer Owen Price discussing pasture dieback with DAF Principal Pasture Agronomist Stuart Buck. Image: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

LANDHOLDERS in eastern Queensland are being encouraged to keep an eye out for pasture dieback following recent heavy rainfall.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Principal Pasture Agronomist Stuart Buck said dieback typically affected high-yielding sown-grass pastures in regions that receive more than 600mm of average annual rainfall.

“Accurate identification of pasture dieback is not always straightforward during the initial stages because of similarities with other conditions,” Mr Buck said.

“However, it can be easier to spot after rainfall when surrounding pasture is greener.

“The recent rainfall in Southern, Central and North Queensland means it’s the perfect time for graziers in those areas to keep an eye out for pasture dieback.

Mr Buck said pasture dieback stunted growth and killed productive tropical grass pastures.

“It is characterised by patches of otherwise healthy grasses first exhibiting leaf discolouration, followed by unthrifty growth, premature death and colonisation by broadleaf plants such as weeds and legumes,” Mr Buck said.

“Although pasture dieback starts in very small patches, it can spread quickly within one season.

“Research indicates the pasture mealy bug can cause pasture dieback, but a range of other pathogenic organisms, environmental factors and pasture management practices are also thought to play a role.”

Mr Buck said a range of tools, including three new videos produced by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, were readily available to help producers identify and manage pasture dieback.

Source: Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheres. 

More information: 


Pasture Dieback Identification Guide, podcast and fact sheets: 

Graziers can  also take a few minutes to report pasture dieback via the Pasture Dieback Survey app, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play, or by calling DAF on 13 25 23. 


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -