South Australian field pea growers can now access information online to assist in reducing the risk of blackspot infection in this year’s crops.
Blackspot spore release times and time of sowing guides to minimise the risk of spore infection are now available via the Blackspot Manager website, www.agric.wa.gov.au/cropdisease.
The Blackspot Manager model for SA, developed and run by Dr Moin Salam of Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, in conjunction with the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI), is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
SARDI senior pulse pathologist, Jenny Davidson, says the model indicates that blackspot will remain a risk for field peas until May 25 in many areas of SA.
“However, the risk is low around Yeelanna and Maitland where peas may be sown in early May without high exposure to blackspot spores,” Ms Davidson said.
Estimated to reduce field pea yields by 15 per cent, blackspot is a significant disease for SA pea growers.
“Blackspot spores are released into the air from infected stubble with rainfall,” Ms Davidson said.
“By knowing when that risk is highest, the sowing date of field peas can be manipulated to minimise exposure to the airborne blackspot spores.
“Primary infection of blackspot is reduced if field pea crops are sown after the majority of blackspot spores have been released from infected pea stubble.”
Other factors that assist in minimising the incidence of blackspot include avoiding planting pea crops adjacent to pea stubbles and avoiding water logging.
Many SA growers are again this year subscribing to a free-of-charge phone short messaging service (SMS) that informs subscribers of the risk of blackspot.
“The SMS service gives growers direct information about sowing dates that offer the best potential for reducing blackspot in field pea crops,” said Ms Davidson.
Growers wishing to subscribe to the Blackspot Manager SMS service in 2014 can contact Jenny Davidson on 08 8303 9389 or email email@example.com.
More information about blackspot and other pulse diseases is available from the GRDC, via www.grdc.com.au/diseaselinks.
Caption: SARDI senior pulse pathologist, Jenny Davidson, says the sowing date of field peas can be manipulated to minimise exposure to the airborne blackspot spores.
Jenny Davidson, SARDI
(08) 8303 9389
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
GRDC Project Code