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.