Disease management from the seed up
Disease management in lentils begins with using quality seed and testing for germination, purity and seed-borne diseases. That’s because seed-borne diseases (such as ascochyta blight, botrytis and anthracnose) can impact seedling vigour and lead to losses in yield and quality. Seed treatments are a proven way to reduce the pressure of these diseases as well as soil-borne diseases such as root rot. Crop rotation with cereals and oilseeds can also help reduce harmful pathogens present in the soil. Foliar diseases like sclerotinia can be controlled with one or more fungicide application.
Good weed control years in the making
Lentils are a poor competitor against weeds. A good weed control plan requires a long-term strategy with crop rotation at its core. In the years leading up to seeding lentil crops, perennial weeds like Canada thistle and sow thistle need to be under control. And a well-timed herbicide application can be an effective way to manage these weeds as well as kochcia, Russian thistle, green foxtail, wild buckwheat, wild oats, and wild mustard. Lentils are also susceptible to herbicide drift and soil residue from some herbicides applied in previous years.
Get the jump on damaging insects
Lentil foliage is not generally on a grasshopper’s menu. However flower buds, flowers and developing pods are all appealing to a grasshopper. Only two grasshoppers per square metre can cause enough damage to warrant an insecticide application. That’s why scouting is such an important aspect of any insect management plan. And the invasive cutworm is capable of doing significant damage to newly emerged lentil crops and may require an application of an appropriate insecticide.