Top Crop Manager

News Pulses Diseases
SPG dealing with pulse diseases, including unknown chickpea issue

August 12, 2020  By Top Crop Manager

Pulse crops in Saskatchewan have been having a rough go this growing season.

Recently, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) has received reports of root rot in pea and lentils, including Aphanomyces. Aphanomyces causes the most serious cases of root rot in pulses. If the pathogen is present in a field, farmers shouldn’t plant peas or lentils there for eight years.

“If it’s affecting those roots, the roots can’t take up water, they’re not taking up nutrients, the plant just struggles,” said Sherrilyn Phelps, SPG agronomy manager, in an interview with Regina radio station 620 CKRM. “Definitely, you’ll see a lower yield, and in some cases plants die prematurely, which is definitely not what growers want to happen.”


In late July, SPG began working with agronomists in southern Saskatchewan to identify an emerging plant health issue in chickpea crops. Symptoms most commonly included leaf tip chlorosis, blighted branches and wilting.

Together, they collected field histories of affected farms and samples of affected and healthy plants. These samples were used for nutrient analysis, herbicide residue testing, and disease screening.

Test results have been updated with pathogen test results, completing the testing process. The results will now be compared with field histories and agronomic analysis to determine the cause of this year’s chickpea health issue.

Southern Saskatchewan farmers that are growing chickpea are encouraged to fill out a field history assessment form to assist in this analysis. For updates on the chickpea health issue, visit the SPG website. Saskatchewan farmers dealing with pulse crop issues are encouraged to contact Phelps at


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