On display was a new variety of mungbean that is resistant to plant disease Halo Blight.
On display was a new variety of mungbean that is resistant to plant disease Halo Blight. Australian Mungbean Association

Scientists have finger on the pulse of destructive disease

A NEW variety of mungbean bred in a Warwick research facility promises better resistance against a disease that is beginning to threaten the ever-popular crop.

Halo blight is a plant-based disease that causes brown water-soaked spots on leaves and pods.

It can be particularly destructive in spring-sown crops according to the Australian Mungbean Association.

The organisation hosted a tour of the Hermitage Research Facility in Warwick earlier this month, drawing a crowd of 82 industry stakeholders.

AMA presidents Mark Schmidt said the record attendance was a surprise to organisers of the annual mungbean field walk.

"I was thinking with the dry conditions we would see a drop in attendance but it shows it is still a popular crop that people are wanting to know about," Mr Schmidt said.

Halo Blight causes brown spots on leaves.
Halo Blight causes brown spots on leaves. Australian Mungbean Association

Now easier than ever to market, mungbeans are becoming a major crop that many farmers are preferring to plant over summer.

Mr Schmidt said the crop was returning strong prices and was a great rotational crop.

"It puts some nitrogen back into the soil and keeps it nice and friable," he said.

The new variety, which is due for release next year, holds promise for the industry with better resistance to halo blight as well as providing better yields than current varieties can offer.

Mungbean indsutry stakeholders were in record attendance at the annual field walk at the Hermitage Research Facility near Warwick.
Mungbean indsutry stakeholders were in record attendance at the annual field walk at the Hermitage Research Facility near Warwick. Australian Mungbean Association

Mr Schmidt said it was an exciting development to come out of the Warwick-based research facility.

AMA partners were in attendance at the field walk on April 4.

"They were able to describe all the aspects of the mungbean industry with all the work they are doing with disease and insect control and agronomy," he said.

"It was a great day."



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