The Northern Chickpea Ascochyta Diaries

These diaries are intended to update chickpea growers in New South Wales and Queensland with the current Ascochyta situation in 2017. They will be updated with observations throughout the season.

24 May 2017

Figure 1. Ascochyta blight stem lesion at 5-6 node stage

Ascochyta blight has been found in a chickpea crop in QLD by a local agronomist; the diagnosis was based on symptoms and presence of pycnidia in leaf and stem lesions (5-6 node stage) (see Figure 1). Samples are being sent to Dr Kevin Moore, NSW DPI plant pathologist for confirmation. The crop was planted in the last week of April and received 15mm rain on 13 May 2017. It was not sprayed with a fungicide before the first post emergent rain. The outbreak may have involved seed borne Ascochyta but the multiple lesions on infected plants indicate a high level of Ascochyta inoculum was in the paddock at planting as infected chickpea residue from the 2016 crop (ie chickpea on chickpea).  The grower has been advised to apply a registered fungicide before the next rain event. This proactive management strategy should mean the disease is manageable. The video below provides an overview of how to scout for, identify and manage Ascochyta blight in chickpeas.

21 April 2017

High grain prices are tempting at the best of times, particularly when another rotation staple is at historical lows. However, breaking rotations and going back-to-back is a particularly risky business with chickpeas, and Senior Pulse Pathologist Kevin Moore is strongly advising against chasing these high prices at the expense of integrated disease best management practice. Read more in Back to back a bad call for chickpea growers.


Following a high incidence of Ascochyta blight in 2016 chickpea crops throughout northern NSW and Queensland, there will be a large amount of ascochyta inoculum to infect 2017 chickpea crops. Growers management of Ascochyta inoculum will be key to reducing the impact on 2017 chickpea crops. All varieties rated susceptible or moderately susceptible should be treated before the first post rain emergence event.  

Think you’ve found Ascochyta?

If you suspect your crop has Ascochyta (or any disorder) wrap the plant material in slightly moist (not wet) newspaper and send to:

Northern NSW and QLD Growers

Kevin Moore NSW DPI
4 Marsden Park Rd
Calala NSW 2340

Contact: Phone – 0488 251 866, Email –

Southern Region Growers

SARDI, Plant and Soil Health
Plant Research Centre
Gate 2B, Hartley Grove
Urrbrae SA 5064

SARDI, Plant and Soil Health
Locked Bag 100
Glen Osmond SA 5064

Contact: Dr Jenny Davidson, Science Leader, Plant Health and Biosecurity, Phone – (08) 8303 9389, Email –

More information


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