NEWS: New online wheat disease ID training from ARTIS

12 Dec 2014

Wheat growers can now check and improve their disease identification skills in the field, in the office, in the tractor or at home, with a free online training course from NIAB TAG’s new training platform ARTIS.

The ‘Wheat Disease Identification’ course, available at, asks users to identify symptoms for over 20 key diseases of wheat through a series of interactive image-led quizzes. Split over two levels it includes useful diagnostic information allowing users to fine-tune and further develop their skills.

Devised by NIAB TAG’s Bill Clark, in collaboration with BASF, the course is the first in a series of multiBill Clarkmedia e-learning courses being developed by ARTIS, suitable for smartphone, tablet and computer users. Currently free for growers, farm managers, agronomists and students 4 BASIS points are available to learners who achieve 100% on both levels.

“The course delivers the skills needed for proficient disease diagnosis, enabling better crop management strategies,” says Mr Clark. “It’s designed to help you identify the main diseases of wheat showing classic and atypical symptoms, alongside non-disease symptoms, for example frost damage that could be confused with diseases.”

Additional ARTIS e-learning courses are being developed to cover crop husbandry, technologies and regulatory or economic issues that impact on crop production. Learners subscribing to the online portal will gain access to specialist courses, practical recommendations and a wealth of expertise. These resources are not intended as an alternative to face-to-face teaching, but as complementary tools to help build on what has been learnt on the field and classroom courses run by ARTIS.

Dr Juno McKee, ARTIS Programme Manager, says: “Participation in ARTIS e-learning is a useful way to further develop the knowledge gained in the class and field courses, or to access training with the flexibility to study in your own time. We will soon be launching a ‘Cover Crops’ course, with sponsorship from Kelloggs, and have plans to provide online courses that will be sufficient in detail to be used as stand-alone training modules.”

Go to to find out more and register for e-learning or field and classroom courses.