Alberta canola growers trying to ward off clubroot could have a resistant canola hybrid by as early as spring 2010, pending regulators’ approval.
Monsanto Canada on Sept. 18 announced its plans to introduce a new clubroot-resistant hybrid for seeding this spring, as part of its DeKalb 73-series line of hybrids.
Clubroot has become an increasing concern for Alberta canola growers since it arrived in 2003 on a canola field in the Edmonton area.
“Alberta growers made sure we knew it was a serious economic threat to their business,” Chunren Wu, line development and breeding support lead with Monsanto’s canola breeding team, said in a release.
“Using Monsanto’s global resources, we were able to secure resistant material and then integrate that material into our existing, elite germplasm. We are very pleased our breeding efforts have produced results much sooner than we had initially anticipated.”
Monsanto acknowledged there’s a “process in place in Western Canada to review and approve quality canola hybrids” and said the company would work within that system to make its hybrid available to growers next spring.
“We believe the presence of clubroot on Alberta farms is an ongoing emergency situation for growers and they need access to solutions that are widely available from as many seed suppliers as possible,” said Cornie Thiessen, Monsanto’s DeKalb brand business manager for Western Canada.
All that said, Monsanto also noted clubroot-resistant varieties are “just part of the solution” to addressing the issue and preventing the spread of the disease.
Good agronomic practices must be adopted by growers to avoid the spread of clubroot, the company said.