Apr. 4, 2013, Saskatoon, SK - A field in Saskatchewan has been confirmed to have clubroot disease. The clubroot-positive field, located in the west central region of the province, was found through an annual survey of 91 Saskatchewan canola field soil samples in 2012.
Confirmation of clubroot requires detection of the pathogen's DNA in a plant or soil sample as well as observation of disease symptoms in a susceptible plant. In 2011, clubroot was discovered in two fields in the north central part of the province.
Canola is a high value crop in terms of its financial return to farmers and Saskatchewan's economy. In 2012, Saskatchewan producers received $4.4 billion in farm cash receipts which helped contribute over $5.5 billion in economic returns to the province.
"Canola is vital to producers' profitability and the Saskatchewan economy", says Franck Groeneweg, vice-chair with SaskCanola. "In order to protect this crop as a rotation mainstay, we as growers must engage in best farming practices to help prevent the spread of this soil–borne disease."
SaskCanola is encouraging farmers to manage the risk of clubroot disease in two ways: reduce the spread of the disease and reduce the severity of the disease when it is found. Reduction in the spread of the disease means removing soil from field equipment coming from infected areas. Reducing the severity of the disease means scouting for root symptoms to catch it early, giving farmers more options for managing it. It also means using disease-resistant varieties, limiting the growth of the root galls by using a four-year crop rotation and effective weed management.
In the past few years, SaskCanola has provided $1 million in levy funding for clubroot research seeking and evaluating agronomic, genetic and product solutions, such as soil and seed treatments. The canola disease survey is funded by the canola producer levy, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Growing Forward and is coordinated by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and AAFC.
For information about clubroot, its prevention and management, canola producers can go to websites: saskcanola.com; clubroot.ca or agriculture.gov.sk.ca/crops.