GFM Network News


Clubroot galls are the sure sign the disease is present, but dead patches in the field should also be easy to spot at swathing time. 

Wind seems to be the clubroot culprit in Manitoba

Researcher urges producers to watch for early infestations and get on them quickly

It looks like clubroot is moving a bit differently on the east side of the Prairies. In Alberta, clubroot is showing up a lot at field entrances (in 90 per cent of the infected fields, according to one study), which suggests equipment is the main culprit in its spread. It’s a similar pattern in Saskatchewan […] Read more

This plant was found in 2017 in a trial plot of a resistant variety that Scott Keller was growing. It turns out that bags of resistant varieties aren’t pure — and so a percentage could be a non-resistant variety, said Keller. “So even resistant canola seed can help spread clubroot!” he said in an email. Still, experts and agronomists urge producers to seed resistant varieties — something Keller and Alberta Canola chair John Guelly say isn’t happening often enough.

In denial? Farmers ‘failing’ in battle against clubroot

Scott Keller has crunched acreage numbers and found tight rotations and susceptible varieties are commonplace

For the last three years, Scott Keller has been crunching acreage numbers from the provincial crop insurer — and he’s not liking what he sees. “To me, everything the researchers and the Canola Council (of Canada) is saying that farmers should do; they’re not even doing anything outside of just adopting the resistant varieties,” said […] Read more


A variety of crop types can add to the health of your soil.

Make a difference with good crop rotation

Benefits include lower disease control and fertilizer costs

One of the best tools to improve the bottom line, reduce future grief, and lower the risks of pests, disease and weeds is by using a diverse crop rotation. “A good crop rotation is one where there is an adequate variety of crops grown so that any one type of crop is grown only once […] Read more

This 2008 Canola Council of Canada video recommended producers “start at the top and work your way down to the root” when scouting for diseases. That meant clubroot — now the biggest threat to producers’ biggest money-maker — was discussed last (behind much less worrisome diseases such as alternaria and aster yellows). Agronomist Dan Orchard, shown here discussing sclerotinia, found the first confirmed case of clubroot but says back then, “we weren’t that scared of it.”

When it comes to the big two crop diseases, those really were the good old days

Fifteen years ago, a ‘funny’ new disease was found — today clubroot combined with fusarium is a killer one-two punch

Fifteen years ago, Dan Orchard was working as an agronomist at a retailer when he got a phone call about something “funny” in a customer’s canola field. The plants were prematurely ripened and the roots looked strange. Orchard had a hunch of what he was looking at, but a visit with a plant pathologist confirmed […] Read more


Twelve tips to clubroot management

There are several key management tools producers need to apply to minimize the risk of clubroot either reaching a damaging level, and/or to reduce a heavy spore load of the pathogen in the soil to a tolerable level (about 1,000 spores or less per gram or teaspoon of soil will not affect crop performance). The[...]
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Clubroot is scary enough but this Canola Council of Canada video on the life cycle of the disease ups the fear factor. Above, a still from the video (available at www.clubroot.ca) shows a zoospore, an amoeba-like creature released from a clubroot spore when it senses a host plant is nearby. The zoospore, powered by two whip-like flagella, can swim a short distance in water film in the soil towards a root hair. It then clamps on and penetrates the root hair and just like in the sci-fi horror classic “Alien,” begins to reproduce. 

A two-year break can prevent a clubroot horror show

Clubroot spores live for 20 years but new research says a 
surprising 99 per cent die in two years — if infestations are light

*[UPDATED: Dec. 28, 2018] Still growing a canola-wheat rotation? One more year between canola crops could make a huge difference when it comes to clubroot. “Recent research has shown that 95 to 99 per cent of spores die over a two-year break,” said Dan Orchard, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada. “We were[...]
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Counties remain vigilant — but not heavy handed — in clubroot battle

Extensive scouting, canola-growing bans, and seeking farmer buy-in are keys to containment strategy

As clubroot continues to spread across Alberta, many counties are in the management — not a prevention — phase. Cody McIntosh, agricultural manager for Red Deer County, said the county inspected 140 fields this year. “We confirmed another five fields (with clubroot), which is kind of the trend that everybody is seeing,” he said. “We[...]
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You can reduce the spread of clubroot if you can isolate and deal with the first patch of infestation.

Researcher offers ‘gospel’ to control clubroot before it spreads

If the infected area is small, mark it and give it special attention — which may even include hand-weeding

When the world’s top clubroot researchers gathered here earlier this month, a hot topic of discussion wasn’t cutting-edge science but an old-fashioned way of controlling a crop infestation — hand-pulling diseased plants. Once a field is heavily infested with clubroot spores, there’s virtually no economical way to deal with the infestation. But at the International[...]
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This is not what you usually see in the Peace — a crop of soybeans. Canterra Seeds rep Jesse Meyer took (and tweeted) this photo of a soybean field near La Crete in early July.

Way up north, there’s an unusual sight — soybeans

Peace Country growers are testing new early-maturing varieties of a crop associated with the American Midwest

La Crete is nearly 3,000 kilometres north of the continent’s soybean heartland, but that hasn’t stopped some farmers in the area from giving the crop a whirl. “Our most farthest north-grown soybeans… looking great in La Crete,” Canterra Seeds rep Jesse Meyer tweeted earlier this month when posting a picture of soybeans growing in the[...]
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Clubroot experts gather in Edmonton

A gathering of global clubroot experts will focus on creating a co-ordinated, cutting-edge approach to combating the soil-borne disease impacting canola growers. “With clubroot spreading across the Prairie provinces, varietal resistance breaking down and new pathotypes being identified, now is the time for a unified, collaborative approach to exchanging key insights and leading-edge ideas on[...]
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