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Pulse growers advised to keep line of sight on blight

Pulse growers are advised to monitor 2016’s crops for the breakdown of resistance to Ascochyta blight and report any anomalies to the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

SARDI principal research scientist Dr Jenny Davidson says monitoring of Ascochyta blight in 2015 confirmed the loss of resistance in Nipper lentils across South Australia and Victoria, and the loss of resistance in Farah faba beans and partial loss of resistance in PBA Rana faba beans in the Mid North of SA.

Dr Davidson, whose research into pulse diseases is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), said these cultivars would require fungicide protection, particularly against pod and seed infection in wet springs.

“Intense cropping of a single dominant cultivar risks the loss of further resistance genes in these crops,” Dr Davidson said. “Growers need to be very careful about the intensity of their cropping rotations.”

Ascochyta blight was observed in Genesis™090 chickpeas in SA and Victoria in 2015 and so early foliar fungicides will be necessary to prevent yield loss in this variety.

“In controlled conditions, Genesis™079, Ambar and Neelam demonstrated resistance to these isolates, although this result needs to be confirmed in field trials.”

Speaking at GRDC Grains Research Updates, Dr Davidson encouraged growers and advisers to closely monitor 2016’s crops for Ascochyta blight.

“If you see a breakdown in resistance, let us know straight away,” she said.

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