The Grain Research Programme @FABI-UP runs a pest and disease extension and diagnostic clinic serving South African grain and oilseed producers. The clinic team includes Lawrence Mataha (extension officer), Matt Jackson (extension officer), Dr Lavinia Kisten (technician), Ntombizodwa Maduna (technician), Tjitjila Makhura (intern), Dr Lieschen de Vos (administrator) and Prof. Cobus Visagie (manager). With the harvest season approaching, the clinic has completed another successful year of fieldwork, which included 20 field visits to six provinces and 48 farms. During these trips we collected 1180 samples of diseased material and 900 specimens of Busseloa fusca, Spodoptera frugiperda and Helicoverpa armigera. The disease distribution was similar to previous seasons: Eye spot disease, Grey leaf spot disease (GLS), Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB), Phaeosphaeria leaf spot disease (PLS) and rust were common in the fields. In general, however, the severity of the diseases on the farms was low. The samples collected are invaluable for the various grain-related research projects. From diseased samples, the various causal species are isolated and identified and stored in the culture collections housed at FABI-UP where they are made available to researchers and research projects. Similarly, the collected pests are important for projects that aim to better understand the biology of these organisms. This approach is crucial to better control these pests and pathogens in the future. The data collected by the clinic will also serve as a basis for prioritising future research projects to achieve a positive impact and serve grain stakeholders.

We would especially like to thank all our funders and collaborators: Grain SA (Dr Miekie Human, Stefan Links, Dr Godfrey Kgatle and coordinators Jerry Mthombothi, Luke Collier and Eric Wiggle), the Ukhanyo Farmers Development (Sinelizwi Fakade and Yondela Diko) and the State extension officers (Mxolisi Mtyobile, Ntlantla Jokozela and Martin Maele) for their help with farm orientation and connecting with the farmers. We would also like to thank all the farmers who welcomed us and showed us around their farms, as well as all the student participants who helped us with driving and/or collecting samples. We look forward to healthy and productive grains long into the future!