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Scouting for Ascochyta in Peas

prepared by Alberta Pulse Growers

ascochyta in peas ascochyta in peas 1

Provincial pulse experts aren’t seeing much Ascochyta blight in peas yet this year, but that could change quickly thanks to recent wet weather.
 
“Given the prolonged period of wet weather in certain areas of the province, we are expecting to see applications of fungicide this season,” said Robyne Bowness, Pulse Research Scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). “I expect to see more disease and recommend application in July. It was dry last year and very little disease was seen until late in the season when treatment was not economic because yield potential was set already and the plants were maturing. As a result of that, inoculum levels in the fields will tend to be lower than if it had been wet. However, the spore live for many years so they are out there waiting for the environment to be right.”
 
Ascochyta blight is the most destructive foliar disease of pea in western Canada and around the world. Ascochyta in peas is caused by the Ascochyta complex containing three fungi: Mycosphaerella pinodes, which causes leaf, stem, and pod spot and foot rot; Ascochyta pisi Lib., which causes leaf, stem, and pod spot; and Phoma medicaginis var. pinodella, which causes leaf spot, stem lesions and foot rot. The pathogen for this common pea disease is seed‐borne, air‐borne, spread by rain splash, and can survive on stubble for many years.

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