Thursday, September 19, 2013

Disease problems with Canola in Manitoba

September 19, 2013


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MAFRI Advises Best Management Practices for Disease Prevention
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) advises, in August and September, plants from two unrelated fieldsshowed symptoms of clubroot galls on their roots.  Further testing has resulted in a positive clubroot DNA analysis of both plant samples.  Due to these results, the department says Manitoba can no longer be considered free of clubroot disease.
The discovery of clubroot symptoms in Manitoba had been considered likely, as clubroot DNA had been confirmed previously in soil samples unrelated to these fields.  With awareness of the potential for development in Manitoba, growers and industry members have been monitoring canola more closely for signs of the disease.
MAFRI reminds farmers to follow best management and disease prevention practices as they prepare for the 2014 crop year.  Workshops to discuss reduction of pest movement and bio‑security for crop producers will be delivered by the department in the upcoming months.
Proper equipment cleaning, specifically to reduce the movement of soil on field equipment, is key to reducing the risk of spreading this soil-borne disease.  The use of clubroot-resistant crop varieties, proper crop rotation and good weed management of alternate hosts will help prevent heavier infestations from developing within a field where a disease may already be present at undetected levels.
Clubroot can cause economic yield losses in host crops including canola.  The disease survives in soil as hardy, resting spores, with a half-life of four years, but it has the capacity to survive up to 20 years.  Once established in a field, clubroot requires long-term management.
Because canola is an important crop to Manitoba producers, MAFRI, in collaboration with the Manitoba Canola Growers Association and the Canola Council of Canada, is developing information for producers to ensure canola’s continued profitability in the province.  
For more information, contact MAFRI’s Crops Knowledge Centre at 204-745-5630.
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