Grey mould is a serious disease of chickpeas in southern Australia and can cause total crop failure. The disease attacks the base of the stem and the collar region of young plants, where a soft rot develops and then becomes covered with a fluffy grey mould. Infected plants wither and die. Leaf infections cause little yield loss.
Infected seed is white and chalky. This discoloured seed may be rejected or heavily docked when offered for sale. Crop losses are worse in wet seasons.
Grey mould survives in the seed, on crop residues and in the soil. Chickpea plants may be infected at any stage of growth. Infected seed is often the primary cause of infection. Infected plants produce masses of spores, which may become air-borne and spread the disease rapidly. Once the disease is established, conditions under the crop canopy are ideal for infection and spread of the disease.
- Treat the seed with Thiraflo seed treatment
- Sow disease free seed
- Increase the length of rotation between chickpea crops