Effect of Ascochyta blight on the grain yield of field peas (Pisum sativum L.) grown in southern Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • Field experiments were conducted to determine the crop losses caused by ascochyta blight in different pea varieties grown in Victoria. For each variety, the reduction in yield associated with disease was determined by comparing grain yields in plots not sprayed with fungicide (disease present) and plots where the disease was controlled with fungicide sprays (no disease). There was considerable variation between pea varieties and lines in disease severity and crop losses. Individual varieties had different levels of tolerance to disease, and there were large differences between varieties in the percentage yield loss caused by the same level of disease. Disease severity was closely correlated with reductions in grain yield, and for most varieties there was a 5-6% reduction in grain yield for every 10% of stem area affected by disease (first 10 internodes on the main branch). Ascochyta blight caused substantial reductions in grain yield of all commercial pea varieties grown in Victoria but was usually most severe on the early-maturing varieties. For 15 varieties, empirical crop loss models to predict the relationship between disease severity and reduction in yield were developed. A disease survey of commercial crops was then conducted and estimates made of yield losses caused by ascochyta blight using the previously developed crop loss models. The estimated yield losses caused by ascochyta blight in commercial crops in Victoria in 1986 ranged from 3.1 to 26.4% and exceeded 15% in over three-quarters of crops surveyed. The results suggest that field pea production in Victoria is seriously retarded by ascochyta blight and that the development of effective strategies to control the disease should be given a high priority.

publication date

  • 1995