Identification & Management of Field Crop Diseases in Victoria

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Ascochyta blightDidymella pinodes (synonym: Mycosphaerella pinodes)
Phoma medicaginis var. pinodella
Phoma koolunga
Didymella pisi
Most obvious on stems and leaves. Purplish-black discolouration of lower stem. Dark brown spotting of pods and leaves. Blackening of tap rootCommon in all pea growing regions; most crops are affected to some extent. Favoured by wet conditions.
Most damage in early sown crops
Peas and most legumesCrop rotation

Later sowing

Seed dressings

Disease free seed
Bacterial blightPseudomonas syringae pv. pisi
P.syringae pv. syrinage
Water-soaked spots on leaflets and stipules. Yellowish brown fan-shaped lesion on stipulesSporadic in wetter regions. Most severe in early sown crops already damaged by frost or heavy rainPeas for pv. pisi and alternate hosts for pv. syringaeCrop rotation

Disease free seed

Resistant varieties
Downy mildewPeronospora viciaeBrown blotches on upper leaf surface. Underside of leaves covered by masses of fluffy ‘mouse-grey’ sporesSporadic in all regions. Damage most severe in wetter districtsPeasResistant varieties

Seed fungicide treatment
Powdery mildewErysiphe pisiLeaves covered by a film of powdery white spores. Infected plants have a blue-white colourCan occur in most regions towards the end of the season. Most common in late-sown cropsPeasResistant varieties

Avoid late sowing

Apply Foliar fungicide at flowering as an economic option for disease prone areas
Septoria leaf blotchSeptoria pisiStraw coloured blotches on leaves, stems and tendrils. Pin-head size black spots within lesionsPresent in most pea growing regions. Damage most severe on short, semi-leafless varietiesPeasDestroy crop residue. Most varieties are moderately susceptible.

Crop rotation
Pea seed borne mosaic virusVirusDownward curling of leaves, mosaic, stuntingPresent in all pea growing regionsThe host range is limited to FabaceaeThis virus is highly seed-borne in peas. Virus-free seed is recommended.
Turnip yellows virus (formerly Beet western yellows virus)VirusYellowing and stuntingPrevalent in all pea production areasVery wide host range.
Most pulses and brassicas and many weed species
Managing aphids and weeds, resistant varieties.

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