Farm Management

Lupins in 2017 mix

This season lupin growers will be on the lookout for this distinctive shepherd's crook distortion caused by anthracnose and early anthracnose stem lesions, with the pink to orange spores which can be seen in crops prior to collapse of the stem.

This season most lupin growers can plan to sow crops thanks to swift identification and management of anthracnose, following the first outbreak of the disease in NSW commercial crops in 2016.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) plant pathologist, Kurt Lindbeck, said lupin crops can be grown outside a small zone of infected properties in southern NSW, in line with a five-point management plan.

“We advise all albus and narrowleaf lupin growers to adopt the plan, which aims to reduce opportunities for the establishment and spread of anthracnose,” Dr Lindbeck said.

The five-point plan advises growers to:

  • target seed treatment with thiram fungicide
  • keep 2017’s crop separate from 2016 stubble
  • control any volunteer lupin plants
  • manage machinery and people movements into and out of lupin crops
  • apply a foliar fungicide and grass herbicide six to eight weeks after emergence and a follow-up fungicide treatment before canopy closure.

Western Australian research, where the disease has been present for 21 years, found foliar fungicides containing mancozeb, chlorothalonil or azoxystrobin were effective in managing the disease, which is caused by the Colletotrichum lupini fungus.

Anthracnose affects only lupins, and albus lupins are particularly susceptible to this devastating disease.

Dr Lindbeck said anthracnose can develop at all crop stages, including seedlings.

“Growers and advisers should inspect lupin crops for anthracnose symptoms, which are most obvious when crops start flowering and podding, producing bent and twisted stems to form a shepherd’s crook shape,” he said.

“Stems bend due to lesions, with bright pink to orange spores found in the bend of the crook, which spread through the crop onto growing plant pods and infect developing seed.

“Anthracnose develops in hotspots throughout the crop and can spread by rainsplash.”

Samples of plants with suspected anthracnose can be sent for diagnosis to Dr Kurt Lindbeck, NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650.

More information is available online, at and by contacting NSW DPI grains biosecurity officer, Rachel Taylor-Hukins, at

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