Trial results of drainage shows significant reduction in pythium outbreaks in a very wet summer.

Recently the Australian Ginger Industry Association held its annual Ginger Growers Workshop and Field Day at the Pomona Showgrounds. Of interest to the attendees were the results of some drainage trials that had been undertaken over the year just past.

Open drains and sub-surface drains had proven effective in the control of the spread of pythium fungus. Good drainage is essential for successful ginger production. This was highlighted at a Kybong property where Drain Tech installed a one hectare trial plot with sub-surface drains placed at 8 metre spacings in August 2011. In a summer described as a “shocker” by the owner, 30 degree days coupled with intense and consistent rainfall over the February period made conditions ideal for the spread of the pythium fungus.

Despite some random outbreaks, pythium was controlled over the trial plot, and the resultant yield of ginger recouped the grower’s drainage investment. “Without the drainage I doubt we would have even got a harvest”, he commented. “What’s more when it’s too wet to harvest elsewhere, its full steam ahead on my drained blocks”.