Canola School: Waging war on clubroot

With the long list of other things on the radar to scout for in canola, it can be easy to overlook one or two. But one thing that canola producers need to remain ever vigilant about is clubroot — controlling this disease is an all-out battle, and scouting is a key part of planning for the fight.

There are times in any war when there is active fighting and times when reconnaissance is the most important battle tactic.

In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Canola School we talk to Bruce Gossen of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada about the importance of knowing your enemy, anticipating where it will be, and how an important survey happening this summer across Saskatchewan will help.

Gossen begins by discussing the location of the highest concentrations of clubroot spores. The area around Edmonton is, in many ways, ground zero for clubroot infection, so equipment moving out of that area must be scrutinized and sanitized carefully, he says. But any equipment could be carrying clubroot spores — it’s important for farmers to realize that soil that is heavily infested with spores looks exactly the same as soil that has no spores in it all.

Knowing that the disease is present in the province is one thing, but in order to gather the intelligence that is needed for farmers to wage this war against clubroot there will be a wide-spread survey done this summer in Saskatchewan. 1,800 fields will be surveyed, Gossen says. With so many fields to survey, landowners and farmers will not be contacted individually as to when the technicians will be present, it should be noted.

Technicians will cover large areas of the province, parking on the edge of fields, pulling a few plants, and looking for clubroot, so he asks landowners to not be alarmed, emphasizing these individuals are gathering information that will help producers across the region.

Click here for more information on Saskatchewan’s clubroot strategy.