Early scouting urged for blackleg

However, it can sometimes be difficult for growers to tell the difference between blackleg and root rot in June and July


Canola growers and agronomists often look for blackleg in August or September because it’s a good time to spot signs of the fungal disease. However, Justine Cornelson, an agronomist with the Canola Council of Canada, said growers should also scout for blackleg earlier in the season. “If you’re only scouting for blackleg prior to harvest, […] Read more


TB found in Alberta cow

An Alberta farm has been quarantined after a positive case of tuberculosis was detected in a cow shipped to the United States for slaughter. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating and the index herd will be tested, said Rob McNabb of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. “They detected some lesions and cultured it and then […] Read more


VIDEO: The damaged harvest

Jan Knight hates being the bearer of bad news. However, that’s going to be a big part of her job for the next few months as she informs farmers that their crops are likely to be downgraded because of disease and weather damage. “I don’t want to be a ‘Debbie Downer,’ but there’s nothing really […] Read more



Deadly disease threatens pulses

Agronomists say conditions are ideal for the development of a variety of crop diseases and one has already become a headache for some pulse growers. Saskatchewan Pulse Growers has been inundated with calls from agronomists and farmers reporting cases of aphanomyces, a devastating root rot disease in peas and lentils. Sherrilyn Phelps, agronomy and seed […] Read more


More corn acres could hike fusarium in cereals

As acreage planted to corn increases in Alberta, so will the risk of fusarium infection to cereal crops, says a crop pathologist. Michael Harding of Alberta Agriculture said corn is a good host for fusarium graminearum, but that crop doesn’t usually see yield loss as a result of infection. It means there is no incentive […] Read more



Blood test for swamp fever essential

Horse owners should take the risk of equine infectious anemia seriously, says a veterinary researcher. “When a horse is infected, it is infected for life,” said Dr. Sara Higgins of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon. Also known as swamp fever, it is a federally reportable disease. The number of detected cases has […] Read more


Experts fear ergot may become perennial problem

No products are registered for control and ergot resistant wheat varieties are not on the horizon

Ergot is creating larger financial losses than ever on western Canadian farms. Jim Menzies, a phytopathologist with Agriculture Canada, said the fungal disease, which infects rye, wheat and other cereal crops, has been showing up more frequently during the past 15 years in mainstream crops such as spring wheat and durum. As the disease’s prominence […] Read more


Sickening statistics

A review written 10 years ago by Merle Olson of the University of Calgary’s faculty of biology estimated that 1,415 infectious organisms are known to cause disease in humans and 616 pathogens cause disease in livestock. One-third of the livestock pathogens are zoonotic, which means they can transmit disease between animals and humans. The diseases […] Read more



Virus survival time unknown factor in risk assessment

OMAHA, Neb. — U.S. officials admit they were not prepared for the devastation of porcine endemic diarrhea, which has killed millions of baby pigs since last May. Several viruses are circulating, and how they got to North America is a puzzle. “We don’t know how they got into the country, but we do know these […] Read more


Vaccines keep rabies at bay

We don’t hear much about rabies, but it’s scary when we do. The disease can be passed to humans with no curative treatment once clinical signs develop. It is virtually always fatal to mammals. Only vaccination and strong surveillance programs have kept rabies at a low incidence in Canada. Bats, skunks, raccoons and red and […] Read more