The Smoky Applied Research and Demonstration Association is conducting a blackleg survey and asking producers to collect samples while scouting canola fields.
Virulent blackleg of canola is a fungal canker or dry rot disease that causes stem girdling and lodging. In heavily infested crops, up to 100 per cent of the stems may be infected, resulting in major yield loss.
Two types of blackleg fungus infect canola weakly virulent and virulent. The weakly virulent, or mild type, has always been common in canola fields. The disease appears on leaves and stems in August but does not usually cause significant damage.
Blackleg is spread by infected seed or by spores splashed about by rain or carried by the wind.
For a fact sheet on how to survey for blackleg, email provincial plant pathology research scientist Michael Harding at [email protected].