NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has confirmed the detection of the damaging anthracnose disease in lupin crops for the first time in NSW, and has alerted growers to inspect crops for symptoms.
DPI Plant Biosecurity Director, Dr Satendra Kumar, said DPI has joined forces with Local Land Services and industry to curb the disease and eradicate the fungus from NSW production areas.
“Four albus lupin crops on two adjoining Riverina farms are affected and working with Local Land Services, farmers and industry advisers we aim to quickly eradicate the fungus to protect albus lupin production in NSW and the eastern states,” Dr Kumar said.
Lupin anthracnose causes lesions on plants, causing bent, twisted stems and pods, which can lead to complete pod loss and malformed, scarred seed – suspect symptoms must be reported to NSW DPI by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline, 1800 084 881.
NSW has no natural hosts for the fungus and the current infected lupin crops are relatively isolated from one another, making successful eradication a promising prospect.
Stringent quarantine measures are maintained across the state to prevent the entry and establishment of this disease in NSW.
Lupin anthracnose is spread by infected seed and the fungus can be spread by contaminated machinery, vehicles, people, clothing, animals and fodder.
Initially detected by NSW DPI Plant Pathologist, Dr Kurt Lindbeck, and confirmed by laboratory DNA analysis at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, the anthracnose damage was particularly severe in the affected lupin crops.
Riverina Local Land Services Agronomist, Lisa Castleman, encouraged all growers to look for signs of the disease and report any suspect cases.
Ms Castleman said lupin anthracnose incursions threaten the sustainability of albus lupin across NSW and all areas where lupins are grown in Australia.
“Enlisting the support of lupin growers is essential to gain rapid control of this outbreak, as we need to protect NSW lupin crops from this new threat,” said Ms Castleman.
Lupins are a significant winter crop for NSW producers with over 50,000 hectares sown to lupins this season.