GFM Network News


Canola plants that are highly infected with clubroot may have large galls.

Steps to prevent and mitigate clubroot in your fields

Your guide to identification, risk reduction and disease control

Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease. If conditions are right, it can cause up to 100 per cent yield loss in canola. And while yield loss can be low when conditions aren’t favourable, the pathogen is hardy and easily overwinters in the tough Canadian climate. Come spring, resting spores not only germinate where they overwintered, […] Read more

Left to right: verticillium stripe, blackleg, clean/ healthy plant. Plants rated at 60 per cent seed colour change.

Blackleg best management practices to keep disease levels low

Is blackleg increasing in your fields? Use BMPs to keep the disease at bay

For the longest time, yield loss due to blackleg has been significantly reduced through the use of disease-resistant canola varieties. However, those genetics were first introduced nearly 20 years ago and are now starting to be overcome. For a disease that has mostly been ignored by farmers, this means there is a need to reintroduce […] Read more



Clubroot able to beat resistant canola reaches Manitoba

A strain of clubroot able to club the roots of some resistant canola varieties has made its way east to Manitoba. Manitoba’s agriculture department reported Friday that clubroot pathotype 3A — a strain that can “overcome some first-generation sources of genetic resistance” in commercial canola — has been positively identified in the south-central rural municipality […] Read more


Blackleg disease incidence in the crop was medium to medium-high. However, I thought the blackleg was compounding another, larger issue in this crop. Some of the roots looked funny when we pulled the plants out of the soil, almost like there was an abundance of organic matter or extra loamy soil collecting at the roots.

Crop advisor casebook: Irregular canola pod shatter a mystery

A Crop Advisor's Solution from the August 27, 2019 issue of Grainews

Dave, who farms 6,000 acres of wheat, barley, peas and canola in Central Alberta, was trying out a new canola seed variety, which was in its first market year. The variety had clubroot resistance and had also been selected for some pod shatter tolerance. Throughout the growing season, the canola crop had developed normally, and […] Read more

Keith Gabert, Canola Council of Canada agronomist, uses a simple tub and bleach system to sterilize his work boots and avoid spreading disease from field to field.

Disease-free boots and a testing tool

Spotted in the field: homemade ideas that don't cost a lot, but work

They are two separate topics completely, but here are a couple of good ideas that western Canadian field specialists came up with for sanitizing rubber boots to reduce the risk of spreading clubroot (or any soil borne disease), and a handy homemade sample collection tool for measuring spray volumes when calibrating a field sprayer. Boot […] Read more


Resistant to resistance?

If you don’t have clubroot, should you be planting clubroot-resistant canola?

Should a farmer who regularly practises a one-in-four-year rotation of canola in an area without confirmed clubroot be growing clubroot-resistant (CR) cultivars of canola? This was a question I asked at a canola agronomy meeting last November. At that time, I was describing my own farm and I thought the answer would be straightforward, but I received conflicting responses. One canola company representative said […] Read more

You never know what readers are thinking

Despite mention of canola, cheese, carrots and fish this is not a recipe

Once in a while I try to respond to the proverbial “mailbag” to acknowledge comments, updates and sometimes criticisms of my wide-ranging observations. So here are a few thoughts that readers shared, in no particular order: Clubroot reminder I had to tone this down a bit, but after a few articles I wrote on risk […] Read more


A canola plant infected by clubroot.

Clubroot genetics and agronomy

Develop a strategy to stay ahead of clubroot in 2019

It’s time to face facts: the risks associated with clubroot have become far too great to ignore — no matter where you’re growing canola. In fact, we actually saw an increase of clubroot confirmations in 2018 So, why the increase? For starters, clubroot spores are moving from field to field. As well, use of canola […] Read more

Clubroot will vary depending on soil conditions. From left to right: <1,000 resting spores / severity rank 0, 1,000 resting spores / severity rank 1, 10,000 resting spores / severity rank 1, 100,000 resting spores / severity rank 2, 1,000,000 resting spores / severity rank 2.

Clubroot is here. Deal with it

Use best practices and management to keep it low and localized

Be proactive against clubroot in canola. It is not a matter of it might be coming, it is already here. If it hasn’t affected your county or your farm yet, the question isn’t about if it will appear, but really about when. That’s the message Alberta farmers were hearing late last year, as part of […] Read more