By Raul Avila A.Ag, M.Sc., Crop Production Intern, Regina
Minimizing the distribution and severity of clubroot is a priority in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan clubroot monitoring program is a collaboration between the ministry, SARM Plant Health Officers (PHOs), Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and SaskCanola. The program has four pillars:
- Clubroot survey in high risk areas.
- Clubroot monitoring through the general canola disease survey.
- Encourage on farm testing through the soil testing program.
- Raising awareness to increase external reporting.
The in-field survey for clubroot symptoms and the clubroot pathogen in high-risk areas of the province will include approximately include 300 to 400 commercial fields. The survey will be conducted primarily by the PHOs, supported by the ministry specialists. All participants of this field survey are appointed as Pest Control Officers under The Pest Control Act.
The survey will include high-risk areas in the province include the fields that the disease or pathogen were found previously. Soil samples will be collected from each surveyed field and sent to the laboratory for detection of the clubroot pathogen using a DNA-based test. This year, the survey will start in August.
In addition, the annual general canola disease survey will also look for the presence of clubroot and the clubroot pathogen. This survey will be conducted in approximately 150 to 200 fields across the province. Ministry staff, SARM PHOs and other volunteer agrologists will participate in this field scouting process.
All surveyors follow strict biosecurity protocols to prevent the spread of clubroot or other crop pests to other fields. These protocols require the vehicles to park on the roadside rather than driving into the field, wearing disposable boot covers and disinfecting all tools between fields.
If clubroot or clubroot pathogen are confirmed to be present in the field, the positive field location will be shared with the corresponding RM (if it has a clubroot bylaw in place), but will be kept confidential from the general public.
The information collected from the clubroot monitoring program will be used to update the clubroot distribution map and promote proactive prevention and management practices.
For more information, contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre general inquiry line toll-free at 1-866-457-2377.