Clubroot prevalence jumps in Saskatchewan

Click to play video: 'Clubroot prevalence jumps in Saskatchewan' Clubroot prevalence jumps in Saskatchewan
WATCH: The Saskatchewan government said clubroot has now been detected in 43 canola fields in the province. Rebekah Lesko reports – Jan 9, 2019

There has been a jump in the number of canola fields in Saskatchewan where clubroot has been detected.

Government officials said clubroot has been confirmed in 43 commercial fields, and the clubroot pathogen was found in soil samples from three additional fields.

SaskCanola reported in November 2018 clubroot had been found in 37 northern Saskatchewan canola fields.

READ MORE: Clubroot detected in 37 Saskatchewan canola fields

The new fields were identified through surveys in 2017 and 2018.

“Monitoring the spread of clubroot through surveys is valuable to everyone in the agriculture industry, as it helps the industry make informed decisions around clubroot management,” Agriculture Minister David Marit said in a statement.

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“We consider awareness and education of clubroot to be priorities, as both will help prevent the spread of the disease in Saskatchewan.”

WATCH BELOW: Coverage of clubroot disease in Saskatchewan

Clubroot has been declared a pest by Saskatchewan Agriculture, and was first detected in the province in 2008.

The disease restricts a plant’s ability to obtain water and nutrients from the soil, and can cause up to 50 per cent yield loss.

Canola is Canada’s most valuable crop, contributing $26.7 billion to the country’s economy each year, according to SaskCanola, who partnered with Saskatchewan Agriculture and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) on the survey.

Clubroot distribution in Saskatchewan: 2008 to 2018. Saskatchewan Agriculture / Supplied

“SaskCanola invested in this survey to help farmers understand where the movement of the disease is within the province,” said SaskCanola executive director Lisa Horn.

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“We continue to encourage growers to remain vigilant about minimizing soil movement and use this new map as a tool in their ongoing management and prevention of the disease.”

Landowners where clubroot was detected have been contacted and the locations of the fields shared with the appropriate RM office.

Pest control officers will monitor clubroot-infested fields in future years.

READ MORE: Scientists working on new canola varieties to combat clubroot

Agriculture officials said a pro-active and science-based clubroot management strategy should be used to keep pathogen levels as low as possible.

That includes using clubroot-resistant canola varieties in a minimum of a three-year rotation, which will minimize yield losses while also protecting the effectiveness of clubroot-resistant canola varieties.

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