By Scott Hartley, PAg., Manager, Crop Protection Lab, Regina
Sample submissions to the Crop Protection Lab greatly increased in July. Plant samples have come from most crops as well as vegetable, horticulture crops and shelterbelts with diseases being the main issues.
Weather-related issues dominated earlier submissions. Dry conditions, heat stress, high winds causing whipping of the plants and stem girdling and hail attributed to several cases.
Symptoms of herbicide injury were identified in many of the submissions in late June and throughout July. Herbicide damage can be due to carryover of a chemical in the soil, a result of dry conditions the previous year that did not allow for breakdown of the pesticide. Herbicide drift also caused injury to non-target crops in a few situations. Groups 2 and 4 appeared to be responsible for most common herbicide damage.
Root rot associated with Fusarium was found to be the main cause of disease in lentil and pea crops, sometimes associated with Rhizoctonia. Oospores, indicating the presence of Aphanomyces or Pythium were also observed in many of the samples submitted. Ascochyta blight in chickpea samples started to show up mid-July. Later in July, anthracnose in lentil was more prevalent in submissions. Faba beans with stemphylium blight were submitted from various locations in the Province. Chocolate spot and more recently ascochyta blight have been showing up in faba bean samples.
A few durum wheat samples have tested positive for wheat streak mosaic virus in 2020.
As a reminder, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture's Crop Protection Lab is now located at 1610 Park Street in Regina, but the phone number remains 306-787-8130 and the email remains firstname.lastname@example.org.