On 6 May, Dr Neriman Yilmaz, Jenna-Lee Price, Shivan Bezuidenhout and Claudette Dewing from the Applied Mycology group within the bigger Grain Research Program at FABI, visited the Bayer Crop Science experimental farm in Petit, Gauteng. The purpose of this trip was to collect soybean and maize samples for research projects in the group. The group want to gain insight into fungal pathogens colonising susceptible and resistant cultivars. The four FABIans were warmly welcomed by Dr Cheusi Mutawila who provided a guided tour through the maize and soybean fields and assisted with disease identifications and collections. Cheusi is a prestigious pathologist and shared valuable information with the FABI members, leaving the team enriched with new knowledge. The take-home message was that crop protection can only start with the correct identification of the pathogen.

Dr Neriman Yilmaz is a postdoctoral Fellow at FABI who leads the Applied Mycology research group along with Prof. Cobus Visagie. Jenna-Lee Price and Shivan Bezuidenhout are both MSc students focusing, respectively, on the fungal diversity associated with emerging maize farms in the Eastern Cape and South African soybeans. Claudette Dewing is a PhD candidate developing a novel approach to discover fungal diversity by means of next-generation sequencing. The group want to thank Bayer Crop Science for their hospitality and are looking forward to strengthening their collaboration.