Pulse School: It’s time to scout for ascochyta

When it comes to economic impact, ascochyta — also referred to as mycosphaerella blight — is a serious concern in peas, lentils and chickpeas.

In this Pulse School episode, we talk to Nevin Rosaasen, about how to scout for ascochyta, and the importance of timing when it comes to fungicide application.

“When you are going out to scout for ascochyta, the first place I tell producers to look is right next to their sprayer tracks in low spots,” he says.. “If you have any water thats being splashed up on the plant, this is the first point in the field where you are going to see the symptoms of aschochyda.

Ascochyta is an airborne disease, but the fungus is also capable of living in the soil for long periods of time, which means extended crop rotations do not guarantee low levels.

When it comes to fungicide applications, Rosaasen stresses “timing is everything.”

“You know there are certain chemistries that are perhaps better than others, but it’s definitely a timing thing. And with ascochyta in peas, you’re targeting your plants and you are providing that protection during flowering,” explains Rosaasen. “It’s important too when you are considering your canopy structure and what part of the plants you are targeting.”

Rosaasen emphasizes the importance of scouting and educating yourself, as it is “by far the most economically concerning disease…”

“You can look and see year to year, you can have between zero to thirty per cent yield loss, sometimes even as high as seventy per cent yield loss in field peas. So it can be a disease of huge concern.”

To learn more about ascochyta, check out this Pulse School episode filmed at CanolaPALOOZA in Lacombe on June 27th, 2017:

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