Pulse School: Scouting for aphids and disease at early flower

Early flowering pea

It is important to get into fields often to monitor plant development and growing conditions, but for the pea crop it’s especially important at early flowering.

In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Pulse School we talk to Wendy Schatz Leeds, lead agronomist with Sharpe’s Crop Services, about why early flowering is a critical time to scout pea fields. We also discuss what to look for at this pivotal crop stage.

Schatz Leeds begins by explaining what makes this such an important time. “Well, we’re at a pretty interesting timing for peas, pretty critical actually. We’re at early flower, which is when we’d start to apply fungicide on our pea fields.”

If lesions are beginning to appear at early flowering it is the perfect timing for fungicide application. Schatz Leeds says that yield is the most important consideration, but there are other considerations as well. “Most producers will protect their stands because they find at harvest the fungicide actually helps the standability”

This is also an excellent time to scout for pea aphid. Schatz Leeds says “You would spray if you have two to three aphids per 8-inch tip.” Also, if you have tiny pods that are susceptible to sucking, you will have yield loss so that is something else to look for and should influence your decision.

While pea fields can be difficult to walk across, it’s key to have a sense of the average condition of the field. Make sure you cover representative areas of the field to make sure the appropriate thresholds are met and to avoid undertaking additional field operations needlessly.


Dale Leftwich

Dale Leftwich farmed for over twenty years and throughout that time worked as an agronomist, seed manager and businessman. He has been on the Boards of SaskCanola, Canadian Canola Growers and Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan. He also help develop the documentary License to Farm.


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