Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 3


Western Australia, Myxomatosis, Seeds, vegetable production, Water conservation, Itch mite, Orchard irrigation, Powdery mildew, Cat flu, Soil erosion

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Myxomatosis is losing its punch - By A. R. TOMLINSON, Chief Vermin Control Officer

The results of the testing of field strains of myxomatosis just released by the Australian National University are of vital importance to every farmer in Western Australia. They show clearly that the predicted decline in the effectiveness of myxomatosis has occurred. Worse still, they reveal that the decline has been more rapid in some areas than observers anticipated.

The importance of good seed in vegetable production. - By T. WACHTEL, Vegetable Adviser, Horticultural Division

The seed is the foundation of the crop that eventually is to be harvested. As an American textbook on vegetable vegetable growing puts it: "Within the seed coat may be locked up the key to future success or failure." A vegetable crop can be much poorer than the seed, but it cannot be better.

Water conservation on the farm - By J. W. LEWIS, Irrigation Adviser, Bunbury

Water conservation on the farm is becoming increasingly important in this State, and on most properties in the South-West water can be conserved easily and economically. Coupled with the use of modern spray irrigation systems, this trend may well revolutionise farming methods in years to come and lead the way to greater agricultural prosperity.

Itch mite in sheep - By C. R. TOOP, Chief Veterinary Surgeon

During the past 12 months there has been a sharp rise in the incidence of itch mite and many cases have been reported both from sheep markets and individual properties. The symptoms of itch mite infestation are very similar to those produced by hce but, unlike the sheep louse, the itch mite is invisible to the naked eye and the microscopic examination of scrapings taken from the skin after the wool has been closely clipped is necessary for its detection.

Orchard irrigation - By J. CRIPPS, Horticultural Adviser

There are no fruits grown in Western Australia which do not give larger crops if irrigated, although the majority of fruit growers do not have irrigation installations.

Powdery mildew diseases in the home garden - By OLGA M. GOSS, B.Sc. Hons., Plant Pathologist

Most of you will be only too familiar with the powdery mildew diseases which occur so frequently during the warmer months in your gardens. The most common plants badly affected by these diseases are grape vines, roses, hydrangeas, delphinium, Iagerstroemia and melons of various types.

"Cat Flu" - A matter of serious concern - By J. SHILKIN, B.V.Sc, Veterinary Surgeon

The importance of cats in the community is not generally realised by the public, yet severe epidemics among the feline population should be a matter of considerable concern. The presence of a reasonably large cat population in our cities is most important in keeping rat and mice numbers down to a low level, and their importance on farming properties is too well known to need any comment. Rat-borne diseases do occur m man in Australia and rats are always a potential danger as carriers and spreaders of some extremely serious diseases of man.

Even good farmers can cause erosion. - By BRIAN MARSH, B.Sc. (Agric), Soil Conservation Adviser

The particular aspects of soil conservation I am to discuss has not been publicised before, and the suggestions contained in this talk may be of use to you during seeding operations this year. It is often asked, "Will the use of clover really prevent erosion."