Australian Pulse Bulletin

Field pea fungicide guide: 2019 season

Fungicide applications will help control some field pea diseases. There are three main fungus diseases in field peas that require monitoring Ascochyta blight (AB) also known as Blackspot complex, Powdery mildew (PM) and Downy mildew (DM). 

Pulse Australia have Minor Use Permits from APVMA when required, to help growers manage disease in field pea crops.

 Fungal disease control is based on the use of integrated disease management to minimise the injury to crops from plant pathogens. Efficient use of foliar fungicides is based upon the protection of plants rather than curing existing infections. The application of foliar fungicides to manage ascochyta blight have generally proven to be uneconomic for field pea yields less than 2t/ha. If yield potential is greater than 2t/ha then apply a foliar fungicide at 9 nodes prior to a significant rain front. If ascochyta blight disease is present then follow up again at early flowering, again prior to a significant rain front. Fungicide can be applied when disease lesions are expanding on lower leaves before canopy closure, but can be earlier if the disease appears early.

Downy mildew may develop in years with long periods of cold, wet conditions in winter. The disease can take hold of establishing seedlings and result in reduced plant populations. Seed treatment of metalaxyl (Apron®, Rampart®, Axiom®, Mantle®) is highly effective on downy mildew, and is the first priority control option to choose where the risk is high. It does not control ascochyta blight. A foliar application of chlorothalonil may be effective in suppressing the downy mildew in a salvage operation if detected in the seedling stage, but this is less effective than a seed dressing because the damage has been done earlier. The foliar fungicides containing phosphorous acid or metalaxyl are not registered in peas.

Mild days and cool nights (that favour dew formation) late in the season can favour development of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew can spread very quickly under ideal conditions. Seed treatment is not effective against powdery mildew. A foliar application of tebuconazole (eg Folicur®, various Tebuconazole’s) can be effective in suppressing powdery mildew if applied as soon as it is first detected. Triadimefon products (eg Accord®, Triad®, various Triadimefon’s) can be effective in suppressing the powdery mildew, but a repeat application may be needed.

Timing of fungicide applications is critical. An application in advance of a rain front provides maximum protection. Delaying application until after a rain front reduces efficacy significantly, as rainfall will rapidly promote spread of inoculum. Close monitoring for early symptoms will give greater opportunities to minimise disease establishment and spread.

Both chlorothanonil and mancozeb are both persistent and rain-fast chemicals.

Keep in mind that all new growth after spraying is unprotected, and new leaves will appear in 4-6 days in winter, but only 2-3 days in spring as conditions warm up. 

Seasonal Conditions in 2019

Seasonal conditions have varied widely across Australian cropping areas. After a very hot and dry summer in many regions and variable autumn break for sowing crops, conditions in many regions have become cold and dry, with frosty mornings. In Central Qld conditions have been favourable for crop establishment, but Southern Qld and Northern NSW drought conditions have prevailed since 2017 in many areas, with prospects for winter crops again below average. South Eastern NSW has had some reasonable rainfall, slightly below average, and crops are progressing slowly. In South West NSW though many crops are suffering moisture stress and are well below average. Victoria and South Australia also have average conditions to start but have had reasonable mid-season rainfall to get crops established well. Further rain will be needed in spring to finish these crops. In Western Australia the southern and eastern grain belts have again had a dry start, similar to 2018, but recent rainfall has improved prospects. These conditions have meant that diseases need to be monitored closely in many regions through the different growth stages of the crop. With good access for ground sprayers this year, allowing for high water rates and canopy penetration, timely fungicide application will give the crop the best chance of a high yield.

For more detailed information on disease management: 

Fungicides registered for disease control in field peas

Field pea Foliar Fungicide
Trade Name example
Ascochyta blight
Botrytis grey mould
Powdery mildew
Downy mildew
WHP Harvest
Chlorothalonil 720
CC Barrack 720
1.1–1.8 L/ha Qld, Tas, WA only
7 days
Mancozeb 750
Dithane DF
1.7–2.5 kg/ha
14 days
Azoxystrobolin + Tebuconazole
NR 0.75–1.0 L/ha
28 days
Polyram DF
1.0–2.2 kg/ha
1.0–2.2 kg/ha
1.0–2.2 kg/ha
1.0–2.2 kg/ha
42 days
Triadimefon 125
Genfarm Triadimefon
500 mL/ha NSW, Vic, Tas only
14 days
Zineb 800
Barmac Zineb
125 g/ha
7 days
Copper Oxychloride
Champ 500DF
2.5 kg/ha
1 day
Folicur SC
145 mL/ha
3 days
Prothioconazole + Bixafen
Aviator XPro
400–600 g/ha

Many of the Minor Use Permits have short term expiry dates (e.g. 30/11/2017) 

NR = Not Registered 

Read the Label

As with any chemical application, care should be taken to observe all the label conditions for each product. Some label advice is different for each state or region, so for best results, it is important that this is followed. Many of our pulse crops are exported for human consumption, so market access is dependent on having the product free of chemical residues. Australian has a reputation for providing clean and safe produce so it is vital that this is maintained by using chemicals according to regulations. All permits have label recommendations for use rate and withholding periods (WHP) that must be observed so grain will comply with Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) allowable for market access.

Key contacts

Pulse Australia Industry Development Managers

Support and funding acknowledgement

Australian Pulse Bulletins are a joint initiative of Pulse Australia and the Pulse Agronomic Research Teams from VicGov, SARDI, NSW DPI, DAF Qld and DAFWA

Pulse Australia acknowledges the financial support from their members.


Information provided in this guide was correct at the time of the date shown below. No responsibility is accepted by Pulse Australia for any commercial outcomes from the use of information contained in this guide.

The information herein has been obtained from sources considered reliable but its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No liability or responsibility is accepted for any errors or for any negligence, omissions in the contents, default or lack of care for any loss or damage whatsoever that may arise from actions based on any material contained in this publication.

Readers who act on this information do so at their own risk.

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Last updated: 4 September 2019