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Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network Quick Disease Reporter Tool


Alireza Akhavan, PhD, AAg, Provincial Specialist-Plant Disease, Crops and Irrigation Branch, Regina, SK
T. Kelly Turkington, PhD, Plant Pathologist, Lacombe Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB
Matthew McBurney, BSc MGIS, Geomatics Specialist, Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Winnipeg, MB

July 2021

Every growing season, field crop producers across the prairies are faced with multiple abiotic and biotic issues in their crops.

For biotic issues, infectious plant diseases can have a significant impact on crop productivity and grain quality. For some diseases, prior knowledge of the history and damaged caused can be used to modify cropping plans to minimize impact in future seasons. These plans can include strategies such as extending the rotation length between host crops, selecting a more resistant variety and using good agronomic practices.

For some plant diseases, management decisions are made during the growing season and these typically include the decision to apply fungicides. For some diseases such as sclerotinia stem rot in canola and fusarium head blight in small grain cereals, the decision to spray or not to spray comes too late if symptoms are already present in the crop. In contrast, for cereal leaf spots and rusts and foliar pulse crop diseases, producers or agronomists can assess disease development to evaluate risk and determine if fungicide application is needed. Producers and agronomists are extremely busy during the growing season, therefore, awareness of developing issues on a regional or prairie-wide basis can be important to help them prioritize scouting of fields for specific diseases that are just starting to develop.

To foster awareness of developing plant diseases on a regional and prairie-wide basis, the Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network (PCDMN) and the three prairie provincial pathologists have worked with colleagues from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Geomatics Group. The result of this collaboration is the development and deployment of the Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network Quick Disease Reporter Tool (PCDMN QDRT). The PCDMN QDRT can be used to make quick general reports of diseases in common crops over the prairie region as part of the PCDMN. This information can be used to identify regions where crop disease outbreaks are starting to occur and where further in-crop scouting and risk assessment may be required, especially when a fungicide application is being considered.

Map of barley leaf disease locations
Number of reports of barley leaf diseases as conveyed via the Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring
Network Quick Disease Reporter Tool, June 24, 2021

PCDMN will not share, or make available, any identifiable information regarding the submitter or location without the expressed permission of the submitter. The PCDMN QDRT is only to be used for reporting Canadian prairie crop disease observations for the current growing season. The data will be used to inform the extent and frequency of crop disease occurrence at a municipality level via the publicly available PCDMN QDRT map. Although efforts will be made to update the PCDMN QDRT map every few days, some delays may occur. Initially the target is to provide weekly map updates. The map will be shared via the PCDMN Blog, their Twitter feed and by the provincial pathologists. Reasonable efforts will be made to verify the accuracy of reports, however the PCDMN, or its affiliates, cannot certify accuracy of every entry. As such, this tool and the data collected, are not intended or assumed to be official or verified reports for any jurisdiction.

Please note that if you are reporting on the observation of clubroot symptoms in Saskatchewan canola fields you are asked to also report the case to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

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