On July 19, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers was contacted by chickpea growers in southern Saskatchewan regarding a possible disease outbreak in chickpea fields.

Together with members from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, and the Crop Development Centre, SPG visited affected fields to assess the situation, take samples, and talk with growers. 

What We Know

  • Ascochyta is present in the affected fields
  • The environment is conducive to disease development. Fungicide should be applied within the 7-10 day window
  • There were signs of root rot in some of the chickpea samples. There were also signs of leaflet blighting in the chickpeas
  • Samples of diseased plants are being tested to identify all of the pathogens present
  • The variety CDC Orion may be more affected than other varieties
  • The area most affected by this outbreak is east of Swift Current and south of the Number 1 Highway. This outbreak affects chickpea acres in the United States as well.

What to Watch For

  • Growers should watch for Ascochyta in their chickpea crops. Take note of any leaflet blighting that you might see on plants. Pull up some samples to see if root rot is affecting the plants as well
  • Scout your fields. Start with the wet spots and low lying areas of your field to notice any diseased plants. Also look at heavily compacted areas of the field (where tractor or sprayer tires have been). This is where disease will be most likely 
  • Anything that causes additional stress can increase the susceptibility of your chickpeas to disease. (ex. Environment (hail damage, heavy rain, wind), herbicide injury (residual carry-over, tank contamination, drift), root issues, nutrient deficiencies, etc.)

What Can You Do 

  • If your chickpeas have green growth and the plant is still continuing to develop, continue with your disease management plan
    • Make sure you know the stage of your chickpea crop and be aware of preharvest intervals for fungicides
    • Ensure you get your fungicide application on within the 7-10 day window (do not stretch out the application time)
    • Rotate your fungicide groups
    • Avoid using single-action strobilurins because resistant Ascochyta has been identified on chickpeas

Who Can You Contact?

If you suspect that your chickpea crops are part of this emerging disease outbreak and would like further confirmation, here are some contacts that you can call or email. If you have affected chickpea acres we recommend you contact Saskatchewan Crop Insurance as well:

  • Dale Risula, Provincial Specialist, Special Crops, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture – 306.787.4665, dale.risula@gov.sk.ca
  • Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp., Customer Service – 1.888935.0000, customer.service@scic.ca
  • Crop Protection Laboratory, Government of Saskatchewan – 306.787.8130, CPL website