Scout now for fusarium

Conditions could be ripe for fusarium head blight across large swathes of Manitoba and Sask­atchewan. Recent rain, high humidity and warm daytime temperatures may have increased the risk of the disease in many fields of winter and spring wheat. It’s also a combination of high levels of inoculums carried over from last year in relation […] Read more

Fusarium was a major problem on the Prairies last year, including in this field of lodged wheat near Rouleau, Sask.  |  Michael Raine photo

Fusarium expected to be problem this year

High levels of the disease last year mean farmers have to watch what they seed and pay close attention to the weather

Fusarium pressure was high in last year’s prairie wheat crop, and that doesn’t bode well for this year. “With all this disease from last year, the land is now reinoculated for 2017,” said Holly Gelech of BioVision Seed Labs. “Those nodes hold a massive amount of spores … and they are going to impact the […] Read more

Fusarium, as seen in this sample, can have devastating consequences for wheat crops.  |  U of S Crop Development Centre/Mallory Dyck photo

Elusive resistance

Farmers need to take fusarium head blight resistance ratings with a grain of salt, according to research out of Manitoba Agriculture. The research shows that varieties can perform much differently in the real world than they did in the variety registration trials where they received the official rating that is published in the provincial seed […] Read more

Agriculture Canada researcher Bob Conner is pleased with his efforts to produce a sickly bean crop, explaining to field tour participants how researchers encourage diseases to find ways to fight them. | Ed White photo

Video: Sowing seeds of crop destruction

MORDEN, Man. — Bob Conner sounds like a proud papa when he shows off a patch of withered, wilting, dying bean plants. “This is our white mould nursery,” he explained to a group of bean growers, agronomists, advisers and agriculture researchers. “We will be irrigating if we have to…. We want to create the ideal […] Read more

Ergot appears as hard black bodies in grain and affects grasses, wheat, barley, rye, triticale and oats.  | File photo

Now is the time to keep a sharp eye out for ergot

When the final tally is in, this crop year is likely to show up as wetter than most years on the Prairies, and that’s just what fungus likes. Ergot is no exception, and true to form, it has shown up in some cereal and hay fields. In addition to affecting yield and increasing dockage, ergot […] Read more

Crop pathologist Ron Howard discusses the top five diseases that affect canola, during a plot tour July 28 organized by Farming Smarter in Lethbridge.  |  Barb Glen photo

‘Big 5’ threaten canola

There are 10 to 15 diseases that can affect canola, says crop pathologist Ron Howard. There are also non-disease threats and environmental factors that can cause symptoms in canola that mimic disease. “Don’t jump to conclusions,” Howard told a July 28 Lethbridge plot tour organized by the Farming Smarter research group. “There’s a whole other […] Read more

It’s easiest to identify blackleg in canola just before or while swathing — look for grey stem or leaf lesions with a dark border and dark specks in the centre.  |  File photo

Blackleg growing along with canola

Southern Manitoba’s canola crop is off to a good start because of a wet spring. However, the moist conditions have also prompted growers to load up their sprayers with fungicide for blackleg. “It’s everywhere, and we know that there is a level of pressure and a level of the disease that we’re probably going to […] Read more

Canola producers should watch for yellowing leaves and black stems that peel away to reveal what looks like black pepper.
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Verticillium stripe causes concern

The Canadian canola industry has been concerned about verticillium stripe ever since the plant disease was found in Manitoba in 2014 because high infection rates will significantly reduce yields. Soil surveys conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency last year found the disease in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Barbara Ziesman, Saskatchewan’s provincial […] Read more

Most clubroot infestation is still concentrated near Edmonton, but new cases have been confirmed along Sask. border.

Alberta clubroot could be making its way east: pathologist

A newly released 2015 clubroot map shows that the disease is continuing its steady march toward Saskatchewan. “Even though we don’t see a lot of disease in Saskatchewan yet, it’s banging on the door,” said Bruce Gossen, a plant pathologist with Agriculture Canada. “Our growers have to be really aware that the disease is probably […] Read more

Last week, researchers announced that a data analysis based on a 2014 survey of clubroot resistant canola fields had uncovered nine additional strains of the disease capable of overcoming existing resistance. | File photo

VIDEO: Canola losing resistance

Clubroot resistant lines of canola are under siege in Alberta. In 2014, researchers identified a new strain of the disease that appeared in six fields in central Alberta in 2013. The strain, known as 5X, was able to overcome resistance built into new varieties. Last week, researchers announced that a data analysis based on a […] Read more