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Sclerotinia survey for lupins and pulses

Sclerotinia on a lupin stem. This will result in total plant death and yield loss.

Sclerotinia on a lupin stem. This will result in total plant death and yield loss.

Reported incidences of Sclerotinia infection in lupin crops have increased across Western Australia’s southern grain growing districts this season. While the focus of the disease is predominantly on canola and lupins, other pulse crops including Chickpea, Faba beans, Field peas and Lentils can all be threatened by Sclerotinia.

With the high incidence of Sclerotinia in canola across Australia’s western and southern grain growing regions, and the subsequent high sclerot levels in the soil, the risk of Sclerotinia causing economic losses in lupins and other pulse crops has increased.

What we don’t know is the degree of incidence and severity of Sclerotinia in lupins, chickpea, faba beans, field peas and lentils, and whether this constitutes a problem that requires research and/or extension in determining a strategy for control.

Before considering control measures, the Australia Pulse industry needs some intelligence about the amount of Sclerotinia infection currently in lupins, chickpea, faba beans, field peas and lentils. From this, some measured assumptions can be made about the economic impact and the viability of fungicide control.

Sclerotinia infecting part of the main stem podding. This will result in a partial yield loss.

Sclerotinia infecting part of the main stem podding. This will result in a partial yield loss.

Pulse Australia needs your help to survey lupin and pulse crops.

Prior to the crop maturing, could you please survey lupin and/or pulse crops for Sclerotinia infection. These may be just your own crops, or some of your clients’ crops. The more crops surveyed the better.

While this survey is quick and relatively easy, we hope to gain a picture of the degree of Sclerotinia infection in lupins and pulses across the Western and Southern regions of Australia in sufficient detail to inform the need for further action.

Suggested survey technique is to select 10 plants in 6 locations in a paddock and score them as follows:

  • 0= no infection
  • 1= infection on branches and pods
  • 2= infection on the stem, resulting in total loss

Sclerotinia survey page

Click here to download the survey as a Microsoft Word document.

Sclerots on the root of lupin. There will be more sclerots inside the stem. These may lie dormant in the soil from many years.

Sclerots on the root of lupin. There will be more sclerots inside the stem. These may lie dormant in the soil from many years.

If you can help, please endeavour to return your findings to Alan Meldrum by Monday October 26.

Contact: Alan Meldrum Pulse Australia-WA; alan@pulseaus.com.au, 0427 384 760.

The results will be collated and summarised for the benefit of industry. This will aid in determining information about Sclerotinia and a control strategy, if needed, for the 2016 season.

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