Clubroot is rapidly spreading across Western Canada. Whether or not it’s in your fields, all canola growers need to be concerned about clubroot. Once a field is infected, clubroot will always be present, so preventing the spread of the disease is critical. A clubroot infection, in good environmental conditions, can devastate a canola field and lead to significant or total yield loss. Luckily, clubroot can be managed with very little economic.
The most important strategies a grower can implement are choosing clubroot resistant canola genetics and implementing a longer crop rotation. Resistant genetics are built into the crop, preventing a clubroot infection from happening, and from building up on your fields. A longer crop rotation allows more time between susceptible crops, which allows spore loads to drop in the field, decreasing the chance or infection.
Growers should also manage susceptible pests like volunteer canola and brassica weed species to prevent buildup of the disease in non canola years. Ensure soil from infected fields is not spread through soil movement on equipment. Fields should be monitored and scouted regularly.
Another good practice is to rotate to canola hybrids that have new sources of clubroot resistance to manage a changing clubroot population in areas where the disease has been present in the past.
Clubroot infections can range from having very little impact on a field to total devastation. Management strategies, agronomics and environmental conditions will have a huge effect, so it’s important to stay a step ahead.
For more information, speak to your local agronomist or seed sales rep.
Aaron Miller is an area agronomist with DuPont Pioneer.