Foot-and-mouth disease is a threat

Planning for the worst | With outbreaks around the world, North America is lucky to be free of FMD, says USDA official

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The World Organization of Animal Health received 119 reports of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks last year. “FMD is out there and it is really rather amazing that we have not had it for so long in our country or on the North American continent,” said Jon Zack, director of veterinary services with the […] Read more


Costs of outbreaks are high

Serious ramifications | Foot-and-mouth disease an ‘economic shock’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Many countries have high level biosecurity and top notch veterinary services, but they can still get foot-and-mouth disease. The United States was warned in 2001 that it would have the disease within five years. It didn’t happen, but the risk remains that a serious foreign animal disease could enter the country, either […] Read more


Fusarium takes toll on seed

Yields cut by nearly half | Concerns rise over spread of disease through cleaned pedigreed seed

Fusarium graminearum took a huge bite out of pedigreed seed supplies in 2012, particularly in Saskatchewan where some seed growers harvested unusually small crops that were heavily infected with the disease. Fusarium cut grain yields by as much as 50 percent in some parts of the province, and the proportion of fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) […] Read more



Late blight hits spuds

Manitoba’s first case of late blight in 2012 has been found in a commercial potato field near Carberry. Manitoba Agriculture announced late last week that the affected parts of the field have been disked under. As well, growers have applied the appropriate fungicides to the remainder of the field and nearby potato crops. The risk […] Read more


Pea, canola growers advised to scout fields for disease

ST. ALBERT, Alberta — When crop disease specialist Robyne Bowness stood in front of a perfect pea crop to discuss pea crop disease, she was a little embarrassed. She looked at all the plots, searching for signs of disease to show those attending the crop walk at the University of Alberta farm north of Edmonton, […] Read more



Mysterious blackleg affecting Manitoba fields

Two Manitoba canola fields have been destroyed by what is likely a resistant race of blackleg. Earlier this month, Manitoba Agriculture staff detected blackleg on the stems of canola plants on two fields. However, oilseed and plant disease specialists with the government aren’t disclosing the location of those fields or the canola variety that is […] Read more


Rise in swine dysentery prompts biosecurity reminder

The re-emergence of swine dysentery in Western Canada has officials reminding producers about the importance of biosecurity. The disease was first discovered in the 1970s, but incidents have been rare on the Prairies since the mid-1990s. However, there have been 25 cases in Saskatchewan and Alberta since 2009, said John Harding of the University of […] Read more


Bison cull urged in national park

Diseased bison will continue to show up in northern Alberta un-less the diseased Wood Buffalo National Park herd is killed and the park restocked with disease-free animals, said the past chair of the Alberta Bison Producers. “The bottom line is someday we’ve got to recognize that the herd in the park has to be destroyed […] Read more



Researchers study link between ticks, horses

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are trying to get a better understanding of ticks and how they could affect horses. They are asking Saskatchewan horse owners to participate in an ongoing survey by submitting samples of ticks they find on their animals. The research stems from a case in 2010 in which a horse […] Read more


Resistant wheat key to keeping stripe rust at bay

Look for spores | Producers told to be vigilant in scouting fields because ‘it can be like a steamroller once it gets going’

The photograph shown on a screen in the cavernous meeting room depicted a flat green open field. On the horizon was an orangey grey cloud. Those who saw the cloud arrive in 2011 may not have realized the deadly potential it held for southern Alberta cereal crops. It contained stripe rust spores originating in the […] Read more