Pea Shell Virus – Learn how to handle southern peas with Pea Shell Virus

Southern pea leaf curl virus can damage your pea crop if you don’t control it. It is an insect-borne virus that attacks many types of garden vegetables and in southern peas or cowpeas it can severely limit the year’s harvest.

Symptoms of curly top virus in southern peas

Frizziness virus is a disease specifically transmitted by beet locusts. The incubation time of the virus in insects is only about 21 hours, and this time is shortened under warm conditions. Symptoms of infection in plants such as southern peas will not begin to appear until 24 hours after transmission in warm temperatures. In cooler weather, it can take up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear.

Symptoms of cowpea curlew virus usually begin with stunted growth and leaf curling. The name “curly top” comes from the symptoms that the infection causes on the leaves of the plant: twisting, curling and rolling. The branches are also deformed. They bend downwards, while the leaves curl upwards. In some plants, such as tomatoes, the leaves thicken and develop a leathery texture. Some plants may also have the colour purple in the veins on the underside of the leaves.

Infection is more likely to be severe and symptoms are more visible and widespread in hot weather. The high intensity of light also speeds up the spread of the infection and aggravates symptoms. High humidity actually reduces the disease, probably because it does not favour grasshoppers. Low humidity will actually make the infection more severe.

Management of southern peas with curly-top virus

As with any garden disease, if you can prevent this infection, it’s better than trying to manage or treat it. Unfortunately, there is no good pesticide to control grasshoppers in beets, but you can protect your plants by using mesh barriers.

If you have weeds or other plants in your garden that are infected with the virus, remove and destroy them to protect your plants from peas. You can also use plant varieties that are resistant to the loop virus.

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