Broad Bean Rust Disease

photo: susanne wiik
Broad Bean Rust.
  • Binomial name:                          Uromyces viciae-fabea var. viiae-fabae
  • Family:                                      Pucciniaceae.
  • I used to get rust on my broad beans, but last year I sprayed them with aerated compost tea, and escaped the usual infestation.
  • In our climate, rust starts to affect the leaves of our broad beans as the pods mature.  
Why Broad Bean Rust is a pest.
  • Severe infestations will defoliate a broad bean plant leading to premature harvest, or even total loss of the crop.
  • The disease is caused by the fungus Uromyces viviae-fabae which is usually transmitted by air, water or insect vectors.
  • The fungal hyphae invade the plants structure and feed on nutrients in the plant.  This leads to partial defoliation.
  • Fungal spores can overwinter in dead organic matter and the soil surrounding infected plants.  It is not a good idea to add this material to your compost unless you can be sure the compost will generate enough heat to kill the fungi.
Pest Control
  • Last year I sprayed my broad beans and peas with aerated compost tea.   For the first time in many years they were not attacked by broad bean rust.   
  • Aerated compost tea contains beneficial nematodes and protozoa which are predators feeding on bacteria and fungi on the plant's stems and foliage.
  • Use a 4 year crop rotation which moves broad beans and peas to a new bed each year and deprives rust spores of their prey.
  • If you do get rust on your broad beans or peas, remove any infected leaves and destroyed them before the fungi spreads to the whole crop.