Forewarning of ARGT risk for producers


There is essentially a nil tolerance of contamination of Australian export cereal hays with Rathayibacter toxicus, the causative organism of Annual Ryegrass Toxicity (ARGT); since 2005 testing of hays for export has been mandatory. This project will use the results of a previous RIRDCfunded project (BSC1A), a project which drew heavily on results from previous RIRDCfunded projects, in particular development of an assay for R. toxicus, and interpolation of weather conditions for sites identified by longitude and latitude from SILO ‘datadrills’. In BSC1A the distribution and severity of contamination of export hay crops with R. toxicus in SW WA over six years (2000 to 2005) were mapped, resulting in a substantial database, which comprises ca. 44% of samples tested by the DAFWA annually. A subsample of the dataset was used to predict weather conditions associated with the incidence and severity of R. toxicus contamination of hays. The most significant predictors were: number of false breaks to the season, and average daily maximum temperature, average daily rainfall and average daily potential evapotranspiration during September. That is, weather conditions that result in a short growing season are likely to increase the severity of R. toxicus contamination, consistent with previous research (reviewed for example by McKay and Ophel (1993) and Finnie (2006)). The geographic distribution of R. toxicus in export hays is similar to it’s distribution found in a survey of grains in SW WA over 3 harvests (1997 to 1999) (‘Survey levels of diseased ryegrass in Australian grain’ (GRDC, 2000).


Export Fodder

Research Organisation

HAEN Pty Ltd

Objective Summary

To provide advanced warning for cereal hay, cereal grain and livestock producers of the potential risk of incidence of Annual Ryegrass Toxicity (ARGT).

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Monday, September 28, 2009

Project Completion Date

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority


National Priority

FCR-Biosecurity research


Related publications


Forewarning of Annual Ryegrass Toxicity Risk for Hay Producers