Canola School: Clubroot cases popping up in Manitoba

Now is the time to check canola fields for symptoms of clubroot, as a new streak of cases have been found in Manitoba over the last few weeks.

The clubroot map for the province will likely be changing this fall, as the soil-borne disease has been found in a new municipality, says Holly Derksen, field crop pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture, in this Canola School episode, filmed at Crops-A-Palooza in Portage last week.

Although it hasn’t been an overly wet year, Derksen says there are other factors which have contributed to the disease popping up in new locations. (continues below)

“(One case) was discovered in a waterway, and the producer was in canola two years ago in that field as well, so it’s likely it was there that year, but being in a waterway — back in 2016, it was a wetter year — so if the plants were underperforming then, he was probably attributing the loss in yield to water logged conditions,” Derksen says.

In another case, she says the producer found infected plants while pulling unsightly volunteer canola in a soybean field.

Derksen says she hopes the mindset around clubroot is changing.

“Growers are now looking for it and (they’re starting) to not be as afraid to tell someone they have it because there’s management options and it’s not a disease that’s going to wipe out a canola crop,” she says.

Derksen encourages producers in any province to be aware of the locations where clubroot exists and to follow the best practices for preventing further spread of clubroot. These include a three-year rotation and using clubroot-resistant canola varieties.