Substantial Aschochyta in Saskatchewan

PANAMA - Aug 9/19 - SNS -- Concerns are emerging about the yield potential of chickpea crops in Canada and parts of the United States because of disease and weather conditions.

Markets now expect below average chickpea yields and quality issues in Canada. Crop reporters in Saskatchewan are reporting substantial damage from aschochyta blight, which can result in both lower yields and quality problems. If farmers cannot bring outbreaks under control, yield losses can range up to 70%.

Recent weather conditions in much of the chickpea growing area in Saskatchewan have been ideal for disease development. A good portion of the varieties being grown have moderate resistance to the disease, but that can be defeated under the right climatic conditions.

An interesting paper was presented at last year's Fifth Joint Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta and Saskatchewan Regional Group of CPS by M. Hubbard, W. May, Y. Gan And L. Shaw of Agriculture Canada's Swift Current Research and Development Centre. It suggested that intercropping chickpeas and flax has potential as a novel ascochyta blight management tool.