It wasn t entirely unexpected, but it s bad news nonetheless. In early October, SaskCanola officially announced that clubroot, a nasty soil-borne disease limited to Alberta until now, had been confirmed in two fields in north-central Saskatchewan.
As the grower organization, we want to ensure that all canola growers are made aware of the situation immediately. Collectively, farmers will need to be more vigilant as to their farming practices this fall and coming spring in order to prevent further spreading of this disease, says Brett Halstead, chair of SaskCanola.
SaskCanola has recognized the risk of clubroot spreading from Alberta to the province for some time and has invested close to $1 million in levy funding on research programs that have focused on clubroot prevention and management, including the purchase of new detection equipment for the provincial lab. In 2009, the Ministry of Agriculture along with SaskCanola, industry and agriculture organizations, established the Saskatchewan Clubroot Initiative (SCI). Through this initiative, a provincial Clubroot Management Plan was developed by SCI to promote awareness and identify priorities for clubroot prevention and management.
Clubroot management and prevention includes proper crop rotation, scouting susceptible crops regularly, and good sanitation practices for farm equipment. For information about clubroot, its prevention and management, canola producers can go to websites: saskcanola.com; clubroot.ca or agriculture.gov.sk.ca/crops