Blackspot Manager is a forecasting model for ascochyta blight (synonym: blackspot) of field peas. It can be used by agronomists and growers to help identify the best balance between early sowing and potential yield loss from ascochyta blight, or to inform a fungicide plan where growers are sowing at a time with medium or high blackspot risk.
Windborne ascochyta spores are released from infected stubble early in autumn, with timing depending on summer and autumn rain events. Disease can lead to significant crop losses when the emergence of sown field peas coincides with spore release. Blackspot Manager calculates when the majority of ascochyta spores (~60%) have been released from field pea stubble and risk of new infection is reduced to a low level.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) blackspot in field peas disease forecast contains predictions of low, medium or high blackspot risk for sites in Victoria over fortnightly periods. These forecasts are updated based on recent rain events of at least 3.5 mm. If no rain occurs, then the risk remains the same as in the first week of the forecast period. Growers can decide to delay sowing field peas until their region is designated as a low risk for blackspot, or if sowing at a high risk time, they can plan a foliar fungicide program to reduce the severity of blackspot in their crops.
Blackspot Manager is produced by DPIRD and predictions are made for field pea crops in Victoria through the GRDC funded ‘Disease epidemiology and management tools for Australian grain growers’ project. Forecasts are regularly updated from April through June, each year.
Subscribe to alerts
You can subscribe to the free SMS blackspot alert service. Text ‘Blackspot’ with your name and nearest weather station or location to 0475 959 932 or email BlackspotManager@dpird.wa.gov.au.
Further information links
- To find out more on Blackspot management and the pathogen visit the blackspot of field pea section in the Identification and management of Field Crop Diseases in Victoria manual.
- The Pulse Australia Field pea guide provides Variety Management Packages which should be consulted for up-to-date, specific variety information and resistance ratings.
- Stay up to date with the disease ratings with the Victorian Pulse Disease Guide 2021.
Blackspot Manager is designed, developed, and maintained on behalf of the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s funded project DAW1810-007RTX Disease epidemiology and management tools for Australian grain growers.
Thank you to Grant Hollaway (Agriculture Victoria, Senior Research Scientist – Field Crop Pathology), Luise Fanning (Agriculture Victoria, Project Officer – Grains Pathology Service), and Jean Galloway (DPIRD, Senior Research Scientist) for their contribution and expertise.