Clubroot found in local M.D.s

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A devastating disease affecting canola has been found at three locations in the M.D. of Smoky River.

Ag fieldman Normand Boulet told the bad news to council at its Sept. 9 meeting that clubroot was found.

The three locations are separate from each other, Boulet says. The one infestation in a farmer’s field was discovered by accident.

“It was a total fluke to find that spot,” says Boulet, adding there were no above ground signs of the disease.

Boulet is dealing with all three locations, advising that the areas be seeded to grass immediately. Farmers are being advised to not seed canola in the fields affected for the next three years.

Boulet says that 18,000 spores per gram were found at one location, but it is not unheard to find over one billion spores in the sample.

Cases in Big Lakes

Big Lakes County is also reporting three cases of clubroot, says ag fieldman Sheila Kaus.

It brings the total number of case since 2017 to 31. The good news is the numbers are declining. There were 20 cases in 2017, five in 2018, and three each in 2019 and 2020.

Kaus says Big Lakes is working with producers on solutions, which vary due to the severity of infestation.

Clubroot is a soilborne disease. The infection causes the formation of large galls on the roots which look like clubs. The formations impede nutrient and water uptake and can cause plant death, wiping out important revenue.

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