Doing fabas favours

Graph mapping regional annual rainfall to planting times for areas of varying disease risk.

CHOCOLATE SPOT (Botrytis fabae) and Ascochyta blight (Ascochyta fabae) thrive in moist growing environments and can be devastating to faba and other bean crops. To keep these diseases at bay and produce a profitable crop, faba bean growers need to implement comprehensive disease management strategies every year.

Recommended strategies for minimising disease in faba bean crops include:

  • Paddock selection - Choose a paddock that is at least 500 metres away from last year's bean stubble and reduce risks by not sowing fabas next to vetch or lentil stubble. A break of at least four years between faba bean crops is recommended.
  • Variety selection - Select the least susceptible variety to the main disease risk in your region.
  • Seed source - Retain on-farm only the seed from the 'c leanest' paddocks. Avoid using seed with greater than 10 per cent chocolate spot or 5 per cent Ascochyta.
  • Sowing rate - Aim for a plant density of at least 20 plants per square metre for faba beans, at least 15 plants per square metre for small broadbeans and largersized faba (Icarus, Manifest) and at least 8 plants per square metre for larger broadbeans.
  • Sowing date - Sow within the optimum planting window for your district (see table).
  • Foliar fungicide application Applying the right fungicide in the right quantity at the right time is critical to successful disease control. Three critical periods are 6-8 weeks after emergence (WAE), at flowering (13-20 WAE) and during pod-filling (19-23 WAE).A detailed fungicide application guide is included in the publication Faba Bean Disease Management Strategy for Southern Region GRDC 2002.
  • Harvest management - Harvest as early as possible to minimise disease infection on the seed. Consider windrowing or desiccation as a tool for early harvesting.

Contact: Mr Kris Panagiotopolous 03 5444 5937

* Extracted from Faba Beall Disease Management Strategy for Southern Region GRDC 2002, supported by growers and the Federal Government through the GROC.