Australia’s farm exports earn the nation $32 billion a year, with the grain industry alone exporting volumes worth approximately $1.5 billion.
Australian farmers deal with one of the most variable climates in the world, however growers have more than just extreme weather to contend with.
Microscopic worms, known as root-lesion nematodes (RLN), attack many of the cereal and pulse crops grown in Australia for domestic consumption and export.
These nematodes can cause large-scale damage, currently costing Australian wheat production $123 million a year, reducing yields and making farming systems less profitable for growers.
They cause devastating losses for growers, who can lose up to 50 per cent of their wheat yield if they plant the wrong variety in a nematode-infested paddock.
Loss in profitability for farms on a wide scale makes rural communities less sustainable.