Effective Friday, September 17, a province-wide mandatory masking order will be implemented for all indoor public spaces. 

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Crop Protection Lab Update - July 26, 2021

The Crop Protection Lab has received 96 samples to date in 2021, the majority of which have been submitted using the Plant Disease Diagnosis Request Form. This form is for any unknown or suspected issues where the client is unsure of the cause. Therefore, all factors have to be considered, not just pathogenic micro-organisms. The lab utilizes the diagnostic expertise of specialists in the Ministry of Agriculture's crops and irrigation branch, to assess the problem including pathology, entomology, soils, weeds and crop commodity specialists.

Cereals (wheat, barley, oats, triticale) – various causes have accounted for problems in cereal crops. Aside from dry conditions and herbicide damage, Fusarium root rot, wheat streak mosaic virus, tan spot in durum and bacterial blight have all been identified.

Oilseeds (canola, flax, mustard) – environmental issues (dry conditions, high temperatures and spontaneous flower abortion or "heat blasting") have been the most frequent diagnoses. Herbicide damage has been observed in several samples. More recently some plants with Fusarium root rot and Rhizoctonia have been identified.

Pulse (lentil, chickpea, field pea, fababean) - the majority of the samples have been from field pea and lentil crops. Environmental, herbicide injury accounted for earlier submissions, but recently root rot with Fusarium species and oospores indicating Aphanomyces or Pythium have been diagnosed in the most frequent submissions.

Herbicide injury to a crop can be a result of carryover in the soil from application the previous year, drift from an adjacent field, or tank contamination.

Some symptoms of Group 2 damage include compressed internodes, miniaturization of new growth and loss of apical dominance resulting in prolific secondary branching.

Herbicide Group 4 symptoms can include twisted stems (epinasty) and stem extension as well as swollen roots. Very flat, ribbon-like stems, grooving and compression of stem (very flat, ribbon-like) in cross section, and swelling of the upper root are also indicative of exposure to a Group 4 herbicide.

It has been a fairly severe year for Dutch Elm Disease in Saskatchewan, which has kept the lab staff very busy plating samples from trees all over Saskatchewan. Of the 314 samples results so far in 2021 include 62 positive infected trees, 155 negative results and testing for the remainder is in progress, awaiting results. Five elm samples have tested positive for Dothierella wilt, a fungus that causes wilting and progressive die-back in elm trees.

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