Native fungus causes crown rot in weedy Sporobolus grasses: exempt it from regulation

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Giant Parramatta grass and giant rat's tail grass (Weedy Sporobolus Grasses) cost more than $60 million annually and could invade 223 million ha of grazing land. These losses affect farmers, rural employment, associated industries and export earnings.  

A widespread native soil fungus, Nigrospora oryzae, causes crown rot disease in these species and has been spread by transplanting diseased plants without off-target impacts for nearly 20 years.  An innovative farm-based enterprise has now cultivated the fungus so it can be applied more safely and effectively.  The organism has not been modified and is sold as "Parra Trooper".  

Farmers have been using Parra Trooper with success and are disappointed this natural product has been withdrawn from sale because the APVMA now considers it requires registration as an agricultural chemical.  

We petition the Australian Parliament to amend the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code to permanently exempt the native soil fungus Nigrospora oryzae from regulation.



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