Pasture dieback spreading to new parts of Queensland

Beef Central, 15/04/2024

A recently published Queensland Government media release and map has revealed the extent of the spread of pasture dieback to new areas of the state

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) statement says graziers are urged to keep an eye out for pasture dieback, which is continuing to spread to new areas of Queensland.

In southern Queensland, newly affected regions include Charleville, Chinchilla, Goondiwindi, Inglewood, Injune, Millmerran, Roma, St George and Warwick.

In central Queensland, pasture dieback has been reported in Alpha, Jericho, Springsure and Tambo.

In north Queensland, pasture dieback has been detected near Charters Towers, Cloncurry and Lakeland.

“Pasture dieback has also been detected between these locations and is likely to be present throughout the surrounding districts,” Department of Agriculture and Fisheries principal agronomist Stuart Buck said.

“Pasture dieback generally affects high-yielding sown-grass pastures in regions with more than 600mm of average annual rainfall.

“However, it is now spreading into western districts of southern, central and northern Queensland where there has been good summer rainfall.”

Pasture dieback is caused by pasture mealybug, a sap-sucking insect which is mostly spread by wind. Pasture dieback is very likely to occur when pasture mealybugs are present in warm and wet conditions with a dense body of susceptible grass.

“Graziers should be on the lookout for symptoms during the summer growing season, when pasture dieback is easier to detect,” Mr Buck said.

“Initial symptoms include leaf discoloration and unthrifty growth, before the pasture dies in patches.

“The dead patches are then colonised by broadleaf weeds or legumes—both of which are unaffected by pasture dieback.”

Suspected pasture dieback can be reported through the Pasture Dieback App, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play, or by calling DAF on 13 25 23.

“Reporting pasture dieback through our app takes less than 5 minutes,” Mr Buck said.

“By uploading photos and describing the pasture species affected, you will help us better understand the spread of dieback.”

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) has a range of dedicated tools and resources to help graziers identify and manage pasture dieback:

Research into pasture dieback is continuing through the Queensland Pasture Resilience Program, a partnership between DAF, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Government through the MLA Donor Company.

Source: QDAF


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.


  1. mick alexander, 17/04/2024

    Five years and no definitive proof of mealy bug being a causative agent – the only link is the fireman effect – that is, would these experts agree that the fireman causes fires because the fireman are always at the scene after the fire. And so is the case for blaming mealy bug for pasture dieback-
    Even at the early PD meetings (five years ago), the experts could not replicate mealy bugs affecting healthy pasture in pot or paddock trials. That meant that mealy bugs were not the cause but part of the natural system managing the dead pasture. The Qld Government and MLA have spent many millions of our tax paying and industry levy dollars on fanciful notions that kept mealy bug scientists and consultants in clover for a few years. Time to now listen to nutritionists and soil health specialists in solving the problems.

  2. cassie, 16/04/2024

    dieback? thats rich , 300km radius of linkt energy coal sesm stuff up, fits the area , it was proven the land is poisened, why try put another spin on it. its huge enviromental disaster in history. people need to know the truth. bloomin die back .

  3. Lily, 16/04/2024

    Thank you for the article 🤠
    Pardon the simplicity, we need to work with nature instead of against her .

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -