Seed treatment helps control disease
Disease management is the most critical challenge facing chickpea growers. There are several pathogens that cause seed rot, seedling blight and root rot, including species of ascochyta, fusarium, botrytis, pythium, and rhizoctonia. With chickpeas planted early into cool and damp soil, a seed treatment helps ensure good emergence and provides needed disease protection. Timely fungicide applications can also help prevent and manage sclerotinia (white mold). Above all, early and regular scouting is the most important element in any disease management plan.
Plan ahead to control weeds
Chickpeas really don’t fare well on their own when competing against weeds. Regular scouting is essential to preventing weeds from gaining a stranglehold. Advanced planning is also an important element of weed prevention. By controlling perennial weeds like Canada thistle or sow thistle in prior seasons, chickpea fields stand a better chance of remaining clean. As well, a post-emergent herbicide application can help control broadleaf weeds such as buckwheat, kochia, Russian thistle, stinkweed, redroot pigweed, Canada thistle, sow thistle, and lady’s thumb. Grassy weeds, like green foxtail and wild oats, can also be controlled with a timely herbicide application. It’s important to keep in mind that chickpeas are sensitive to herbicide drift and herbicide residue in soil. That’s why growers should be aware of past herbicide applications and to ensure sprayer tanks are properly cleaned out before use on chickpeas.
Plants help growers take care of insects
Thanks to the malic acid that’s secreted by leaves, stems and pods, chickpeas do not offer a very appetizing meal for insects. However grasshoppers can cause considerable injury to chickpeas should they attack the crop during the seedling stage. A timely application of insecticide can help lower the risk of grasshoppers, alfalfa loopers, cutworms and wireworms. Scouting is important to identifying these pests and to help create an effective management plan.