Southern Pea Pod Blight Control: Treating Pod Blight On Southern Peas

Southern Pea Pod Blight Control: Treating Pod Blight On Southern Peas

By: Amy Grant

Southern peas seem to have a different name depending on what section of the country they’re grown. Whether you call them cowpeas, field peas, crowder peas or black-eyed peas, they are all susceptible to wet rot of southern peas, also referred to as southern pea pod blight. Read on to learn about the symptoms of southern peas with pod blight and about treating pod blight on southern peas.

What is Southern Pea Pod Blight?

Wet rot of southern peas is a disease caused by the fungus Choanephora cucurbitarum. This pathogen causes fruit and blossom rot in not only southern peas, but also okra, snap bean, and various cucurbits.

Symptoms of Southern Peas with Pod Blight

The disease appears first as water-soaked, necrotic lesions on pods and stalks. As the disease progresses and the fungus produces spores, a dark gray, fuzzy fungal growth develops on the affected areas.

The disease is fostered by periods of excessive rainfall combined with high temperatures and humidity. Some research indicates that the severity of the disease is increased with high populations of cowpea curculio, a type of weevil.

A soil-borne disease, treating pod blight on southern peas can be accomplished with the use of fungicides. Also, avoid dense plantings that favor disease incidence, destroy crop detritus and practice crop rotation.

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Read more about Black Eyed Peas

Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center at Lubbock

By Frank J. Dainello and Marty Baker
Extension Horticulturists

Adapted for High Plains Growers
by Roland E. Roberts
Extension Horticulturist

Blackeye: Arkansas #1 ( short, determinate bush, 60-70 days)
Blackeye #5 (vining, 90-95 days)
Blackeye #46 (vining, 90-95 days)
Cream: Texas Cream 40 (tall, determinate bush, 80 days)
Crowder: Brown Sugar Crowder (vining, 90 days)
Mississippi Silver (tall bushy vine, 85-90 days)
Zipper Cream (low vine, 90 days)
Pinkeye: Texas Pinkeye (tall, determinate bush, 75-85 days)
Early Scarlet (determinate bush, 75-85 days)
Pinkeye Purple Hull BVR (vining, 90-95 days)

SOIL PREFERENCE: Fine sandy loam to light sandy clays, with pH 6.0-7.5 highly calcareous soils can cause chlorosis which can result in yield reduction Texas Pinkeye tolerates high soil pH relatively well.

OPTIMUM GROWING CONDITIONS: Warm to hot days(85 – 95 F) and warm nights (60 – 65 F) with mean temperature 70 – 80 F.


Optimum time = Soil temperature > 65 F and frost danger over
Seeding rate lbs/A = 12 – 40
Seed / oz. = 200 – 250
Seeding depth = 0.75 – 1.0″.
Seedling spacing = 2 – 6″ on 36 – 42″ beds, depending on variety grown.

FERTILITY/FERTILIZATION: Rates presented as actual lbs/ac N, P205, and K20 (base actual rates on soil test results)


Viruses Resistant varieties, sanitation
Powdery mildew/Rust Sulfur
Fusarium wilt Resistance
Nematodes Telone, Telone C17, Vorlex

Cowpea curculio Methoxychlor, weevil-free seed
Wireworm Diazinon
Cutworm Diazinon, Sevin, Methoxychlor
Stink bug Sevin, Lannate
Aphid Di-syston, Dimethoate, Diazinon, Malathion

Pre emergence Dacthal, Pursuit read label rotation restrictions.
Preplant incorporated Treflan, Prowl 3.3 EC, Dual, Pursuit see rates on label and read rotation restrictions before using.
Postemergence Poast, Pursuit read label rotation restrictions.
* NOTE — The above is a partial listing of controls intended as examples. Some labels may have been revoked since the publication of this guide. Refer to product labels for specifics and use accordingly. Failure to do so may result in crop injury, death and/or citation for law violation. Humans, animals and the environment may also be adversely affected by misuse.

Days after planting 65 – 80
Normal method Hand: dry seed and some varieties can be mechanically harvested.
Containers Field baskets/bulk wagons.
Grades Free from defects, blemishes and insect stings.
Packaging/Handling 24 lb bushel baskets, 40 lb crates, cardboard boxes containing 12 11-oz cello bags.
Anticipated yield lbs/A Dry, 600 – 800 green, 900 – 2000 (15 – 24 bu).

TRANSIT CONDITIONS: 32 F @ 95 – 98% RH shelf-life 1 – 2 weeks.


  • Can be harvested as green snaps, green mature and dry.
  • Ship fresh peas under refrigerated conditions.
  • Most fields are multiple harvested.
  • Three year crop rotation is suggested to reduce potential disease and insect problems.
  • Wet cold condition at or following planting induce seed rot and seedling damping off.
  • Frost causes pod injury.
  • Can be grown as a dry land crop but responds extremely well to irrigation in the form of increased yield and quality.
  • Best to use a seed inoculant (nitrogen-fixing bacteria), especially on new pea land, crop does not respond well to high nitrogen fertilization (increased vine growth and reduced pea
    yield can result).
  • Winter rye cover crop prior to planting spring peas aids in reducing nematode problems.

Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is another fungal disease that turns leaves yellow. This soil-dwelling fungus enters snow pea plants through the roots. Fusarium wilt does not destroy the snow pea roots, but wilt-suffering plants are harder to pull from the ground than those infected with Pythium. Because no fungicide is effective in curing wilt, the best course is to pull out and burn infected pea plants, roots and all. The following year, buy seed varieties that resist Fusarium wilt and rotate planting locations.

Watch the video: Crop Hour: Managing Root Disease in Field Pea; Other Common Diseases of Field Peas in SD