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Lupin anthracnose

Current situation

Signs of the symptoms appearing on this plant

In October 2016 lupin anthracnose was detected for the first time in commercial crops in the eastern Riverina region of NSW. Natural hosts of lupin anthracnose are not established in NSW and as the infected crops were relatively isolated, successful eradication of the disease was considered possible and an eradication program is now in place.

All lupins crops found to be infected with lupin anthracnose in 2016 have been either destroyed or sold under special conditions to prevent further spread of the disease.

The eradication program also includes the creation of the lupin anthracnose biosecurity zone (LABZ) within which special conditions apply to the growing of ornamental and commercial lupins.

The lupin anthracnose biosecurity zone

The lupin anthracnose biosecurity zone (LABZ) was created under the Plant Diseases Act 1924 in November 2016 and consists of the three Local Government areas of Cootamundra/Gundagai, Junee and Coolamon.

The special conditions include restrictions on the growing and sale of certain lupins within the zone. See Primefact 1499 Lupin anthracnose biosecurity zone for more information. The legislation is to remain in place until such time as the disease has been successfully eradicated or otherwise.

Growing lupins in 2018 – the Five Point Management Plan

For the vast majority of lupin growers in NSW, production can continue in 2018 outside the lupin anthracnose biosecurity zone. A Five Point Management Plan is being recommended for all lupin growers in NSW for all lupin varieties (albus and narrowleaf). These strategies are aimed at significantly reducing opportunities for establishment and spread of the disease.

  1. Treat seed for sowing with a fungicide seed treatment containing thiram: Seed transmission is the main form of disease spread and survival between seasons. Treating lupin seed for sowing with a fungicide seed dressing containing thiram can significantly reduce the chances of anthracnose developing and becoming established. Be aware that seed applied fungicides can be detrimental to rhizobia. The best approach is to treat seed with fungicide and allow to completely dry before applying the rhizobia shortly before sowing, with an increased rate of rhizobia to ensure survival.
  2. Separate this year’s lupin crop from last year’s lupin stubble: The anthracnose fungus can survive in infected lupin trash between seasons. New infections can arise if infected lupin trash comes into contact with new season’s lupin crops. Prevent transmission from infected stubble by separating this year’s lupin crop away from last year’s lupin stubble.
  3. Control volunteer lupins on your property: Volunteer lupins can be an additional source of infection for new season’s crops. Volunteer lupins can arise from within previous year’s lupin paddocks or from feeding lupin seed to stock over summer and autumn.
  4. Control machinery and people movement into and out of lupin crops: Spores of the anthracnose fungus can be transported by machinery, animals and human movement. Spores that develop during the growing season on infected plants can spread the disease within crops and between crops. Be aware of machinery movement into and out of lupin crops, particularly contractors, as well as human activity which may spread spores between crops.
  5. Apply a foliar fungicide at 6 – 8 weeks post emergence using fungicides containing mancozeb, chlorothalonil or azoxystrobin, and a follow up at pre-canopy closure: Research conducted in Western Australia found that follow up foliar fungicide applications in combination with seed applied fungicides were highly effective in reducing the transmission of anthracnose between seasons.

Reporting and Sampling

If you suspect symptoms of lupin anthracnose call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or email clear photos with a brief explanation and contact details to

Samples from NSW can be sent by following these instructions:

  • sample lupin plants that show symptoms of anthracnose
  • wrap the plants in damp (not wet) paper towel and seal in both a plastic container and a ziplock bag, or two ziplock bags
  • complete sample submission form (PDF, 14.9 KB) and send with the sample
  • send the sample by express post early in the week. A cold pack is not needed

Send samples to:

Dr Kurt Lindbeck
NSW DPI, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute
Pine Gully Road
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650

Lupin anthracnose

Lupin anthracnose (Colletotrichum lupini) is a fungal disease of lupin plants, causing the stems to twist and break and dead patches to appear on the leaves and pods. Lupin anthracnose may lead to complete crop losses in susceptible varieties.