THE FOCUS this season is on the breakdown of resistance to ascochyta blight in chickpeas, which has occurred across large swathes of southern Australia.
However, Agriculture Victoria pulse agronomist Jason Brand warned that similar breakdowns will occur in other pulse crops.
“There isn’t a breakdown in lentils yet, but I urge farmers to keep an eye on them, as it will happen at some stage,” Dr Brand said at this week’s Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) farmer update in Dimboola, Victoria.
Dr Brand said breakdown of resistance was likely to be hastened by the more pulse intensive rotations in favour today.
“In Victoria there are reasonably wide rotations, but through South Australia there are lot of lentils being grown and the rotations are being pushed to include more and that puts more pressure on the disease resistance packages.”
He said the ascochyta causing the damage in chickpea crops was not a new pathogen, but rather a more virulent strain of the existing type of the disease.
While disease pressure is expected to be relatively high in lentils this year due to the wet conditions, thus far farmers are not reporting unusually high disease loads.