Severe ascochyta in Victorian mallee chickpea crops – monitor and apply early preventative sprays

Growers in the Victorian Mallee are advised to apply early preventative fungicide sprays in chickpea crops for Ascochyta blight control and continue to monitor for disease after reports of Ascochyta blight on previously resistant varieties.

In 2015 an outbreak of Ascochyta blight in a Kabuli chickpea trial in the southern Mallee led to the discovery of a new isolate of the Ascochyta blight pathogen with virulence on resistant lines such as Genesis090 and PBA Slasher. Further trials have demonstrated that Genesis090 has a susceptible reaction to this new Victorian isolate of the disease.

At a Curyo trial site in the southern Victorian mallee infection of the Ascochyta blight pathogen on most chickpea varieties has been observed by Jason Brand, Senior Pulse Agronomist with Agriculture Victoria. Monarch, Striker and Maiden appear to be very susceptible whilst previously resistant varieties such as Genesis090 are also affected by Ascochyta blight to a lesser extent. Most commercial varieties have disease infection from this new isolate although there is some resistance presenting in early generation breeding lines.

Victorian growers and advisors are advised to spray chickpea crops now and follow up with regular monitoring and apply additional preventative fungicide sprays during spring in order to avoid losses. Further information on fungicide application is available in the Chickpea Ascochyta Blight management guide from Pulse Australia and you can access current minor use permits from the APVMA here.

Chickpea growers in South Australia are advised to diligently monitor their crops for ascochyta blight and apply fungicide sprays at the first sign of disease. Low levels of infection were observed on Genesis090 in crops on upper Yorke Peninsula in 2015 which is a warning sign that resistance breakdown may also be occurring in this region.

All crops will require fungicide sprays during podding, ahead of rainfronts, to prevent infection on pods which results in seed abortion and seed staining.

Key management recommendations

  • Apply a preventative fungicide spray early
  • Monitor chickpea crops, even previously resistant varieties, closely for Ascochyta blight as the disease can take hold quickly
  • Plan ahead – there is a limited supply of many fungicides in 2016 so if you think you may need to apply fungicides speak with your supplier.

Reporting Ascochyta on resistant varieties

Pulse growers across the southern region have been advised to keep a line of sight on Ascochyta blight in resistant pulse crops. SARDI pathologist Jenny Davidson recently advised growers to report any breakdown in resistance immediately after confirmed loss of resistance in:

  • Nipper lentils across SA and Victoria,
  • Farah faba beans;
  • and partial loss of resistance in PBA Rana faba beans in Mid North SA.

Growers and advisors can report any anomalies including chickpeas to Jenny Davidson by phone 08 8303 9389 or email

Further information

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