South Australian chickpea growers are being urged to apply preventative fungicide sprays in chickpea crops following a severe outbreak of ascochyta blight.
Pulse pathologists from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), a division of Primary Industries and Region SA (PIRSA), have found the disease on previously resistant chickpeas.
Ascochyta blight can infect all above ground parts of the plant and is most prevalent when cool, cloudy and humid weather occurs during the crop season.
Growers and advisors are advised to spray chickpea crops prior to rain events, follow up with regular monitoring and apply additional preventative fungicide sprays during spring in order to avoid losses.
Ascochyta blight has been observed in recent weeks in crops across the lower north, mid north and Yorke Peninsula regions of South Australia.
Severe Ascochyta infection was found on PBA Striker crops, with moderate infection levels on previously resistant Genesis090 crops.
To prevent infection on pods which results in seed abortion and seed staining, it is recommended that all crops are sprayed with fungicide ahead of rainfronts during podding.
A range of fungicide products are either registered or have minor use permits for control of ascochyta blight on chickpeas. For more information go to www.pulseaus.com.au/growing-pulses/crop-protection-products
Growers and advisors can report any anomalies in pulse crops including chickpeas to SARDI by contacting Dr Jenny Davidson on 08 8303 9389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Quotes attributable to Dr Jenny Davidson, Principal Research Scientist - Pulse Pathology, South Australian Research and Development Institute
Our advice to growers is simple, get out there and spray your crops. Apply a preventative fungicide spray early ahead of rain events.
Monitor chickpea crops, even previously resistant varieties, closely for Ascochyta blight as the disease can take hold quickly.
Growers need to plan ahead, as there are limited supplies of many fungicides in 2016 so if you think you may need to apply fungicides, speak with your supplier.