Dorval To Discuss Ascochyta Disease Management At MSU-EARC Field Day, July 11

Graduate student Marie Dorval, under advisor and plant pathologist Dr. Frankie Crutcher, will be presenting Intercropping Chickpea and Flax for Ascochyta Disease Management at Montana State University Eastern Agricultural Research Center's (MSU-EARC) Field Day July 11.

Intercropping involves planting one crop between rows of another, in this case planting flax between rows of chickpeas. It is being studied as a way to deter Ascochyta blight, which is a foliar disease that destroys leaf tissue, causes poor pod fill, and contaminates seeds allowing the disease to spread to other chickpea plants.

"Our study is trying to determine the mechanism for this disease control. We are looking at whether the flax slows down long distance and in-field movement of the pathogen and if the flax changes the microclimate in the plant canopy," said Crutcher, who has been studying Ascochyta blight since she started at MSU-EARC in 2016.

Ascochyta blight can become extremely serious, requiring multiple fungicide applications. Unfortunately, this has caused a widespread resistance to the fungicide group containing Headline, which makes alternate disease management all the more important.

The 2023 MSU-EARC Field Day will start at 9 a.m. MT at 1501 N. Central Ave., Sidney, and lunch will be served later that day. The Field Day is an opportunity for growers to get insight about the latest findings on crops that are being grown or could potentially be grown in the area.

Dorval is working towards her Ph.D. in plant sciences and plant pathology. To hear her and Crutcher's findings on Intercropping Chickpea and Flax for Ascochyta Disease Management or any of the other pertinent agricultural information that will be presented by several speakers throughout the Field Day, contact MSU-EARC at 406-433-2208.


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