18 June 2001
Screening to curb root-rot pea disease

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

PEA varieties will be screened for resistance to root-rotting disease aphanomyces from this autumn, says a leading pea and bean research group.

This is in response to a growing threat from the disease in recent seasons, says the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO).

French pea producing areas are having serious problems with the disease and we are starting to see much more of it here, said the PGROs Anthony Biddle.

The soil-borne disease can cause total yield loss in patches, and tends to be associated with wet areas.

Disease incidence has risen over recent years and soil conditions this year have not helped.

Leaves are going yellow and they are not growing away. In the next couple of weeks I fear we will start to see the full effects, said Mr Biddle.

This highlights the importance of growing spring pulses on soils with good drainage and minimal compaction, he added.

Although there was little growers could do to avoid such conditions this year, sub-soiling is clearly needed ahead of pulses next spring, he said.

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