Canola producers should be concerned about clubroot and take steps to slow its spread.
Such was the analysis of Michael Harding, who works for Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. He discussed this subject at an information session in the Guy Community Centre on Aug. 31.
“We need to do our best to slow it down,” says Harding.
Using a multimedia presentation, Harding provided a history of clubroot and noted that it has been found in 32 M.D.’s and counties in Alberta, with a significant number of new fields being added to the list every year.
Harding also used maps to highlight the affected regions throughout Alberta.
Other issues Harding discussed included spores and pathotypes.
In his conclusions, Harding noted resting spores can survive for long periods in soil. Also, soil movement is how the disease spreads.
Greg Sekulic, an agronomy specialist for the Canola Council of Canada, spoke next.
Sekulic highlighted what has worked and what hasn’t in the battle against clubroot.
He emphasized the need for canola producers to develop their clubroot plans immediately and to identify them early.
Sekulic also showed a diagram of the life cycle of clubroot, and how it spreads.
Cleaning your equipment is one way to reduce the risk of clubroot spreading. He also discussed the importance of growing a resistant variety of canola before the infection develops.
Sekulic also offered some advice:
. Use clubroot resistant varieties.
. There is no need to use a resistant variety if you don’t farm in an at-risk municipality.
. Rotate resistant sources.
Normand Boulet, the ag fieldman for the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130, was the last speaker.
Boulet highlighted the Agricultural Pest Act, noting that it is meant to protect agricultural production in the province.
There are 26 pests and 16 nuisances listed under the act and there are differences between the two. There are also provisions for the rights and responsibilities of landowners, occupants and livestock owners.
Boulet concluded his presentation with a discussion about the Alberta Clubroot Management Plan, municipal policies and the Peace Region Guideline.
Approximately 100 people attended this event and they asked questions to the speakers throughout the session. Pamphlets about clubroot, Fusarium graminearium, etc. were available to take home as well.
Boulet will be submitting an article for Spotlight in the near future, expanding on the issues raised at this session. Look for videos about the presentations on the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page as well.