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2021 Clubroot Monitoring Program

By: Alireza Akhavan, PhD, AAg, Provincial Specialist-Plant Disease, Crops and Irrigation Branch, Regina
Raul Avila, MSc, AAg, Provincial Specialist-Pest Regulatory, Crops and Irrigation Branch, Regina

Since 2017, there have been 75 commercial canola fields confirmed with visible clubroot symptoms in Saskatchewan. The 2021 clubroot monitoring program incorporates on-farm testing, clubroot reporting by producers and agrologists, in-field surveillance through the general canola disease survey, a clubroot-specific survey in high-risk areas of the province, and a new component following-up on infected fields. The information collected will be used to monitor the distribution of clubroot in the province and to update the Saskatchewan Clubroot Distribution Map.

On farm testing

Three canola plants, galls swollen with clubroot.

DNA-based testing will be used to detect low levels of the clubroot pathogen. This testing method provides early detection of the clubroot pathogen so management strategies can be used to keep the pathogen at low levels and minimize impacts on yield. Producers will be able to pick up a soil testing bag and instructions from a Ministry of Agriculture regional office, a Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) plant health officer, or a participating rural municipality office. Producers can also sign-up online to receive a soil testing bag with instructions in the mail. Soil testing bags will be provided to industry agrologists who are interested in sampling their client's fields. Landowner/renter contact information is required before the soil sample will be processed. If you are an agrologist and would like to receive a bundle of soil testing bags, please contact SaskCanola. SaskCanola will cover the cost of the testing for all soil samples received.

General canola disease survey

The general canola disease survey is conducted annually and will include 150 to 200 fields located across the province. This survey is completed primarily by ministry staff, SARM plant health officers and volunteers (including agrologists). The survey includes assessing canola plants for the presence of all diseases, including clubroot. The general canola disease survey , including soil testing for clubroot, will only be conducted on those fields where the producer or landowner has granted permission to do so.

Clubroot-specific survey in high risk areas

To increase our understanding of the distribution and severity in high-risk areas of the province, including areas near where the disease and/or pathogen are known to occur, the survey will include 200 to 300 fields. Surveyors will examine plants for clubroot galls and collect soil samples for DNA-based testing in each field. SARM plant health officers will conduct the majority of the in-field surveillance with support from ministry staff. Clubroot-specific survey in high risk areas is a non-permission based survey. All surveyors will be appointed as pest control officers under The Pest Control Act and will follow strict biosecurity protocols to prevent the spread of clubroot or other crop pests.

Voluntary reporting from producers and agrologists

Reports of clubroot infested fields by producers and agrologists has been a valuable source of information. If you would like to report a new clubroot finding, you can contact any of the following:

  • The Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377;
  • Ministry Regional Office;
  • SaskCanola to Miki Miheguli at 306-975-0273 or mmiheguli@saskcanola.com;
  • Your local SARM plant health officer; or,
  • Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation at 1-888-935-0000 or customer.service@scic.ca.

For more information, please visit How to Report a Clubroot Infected Canola Field in Saskatchewan.

Following-up on fields identified as clubroot-positive through previous surveys

Starting in 2021, the ministry plans to follow-up on confirmed clubroot-positive fields and adjacent canola fields to further our understanding of disease build-up and spread. This approach proactively manages the spread of clubroot by ensuring producers follow an integrated clubroot management plan to reduce the risk of clubroot propagation and spread. In addition, this component will assess compliance under The Pest Control Act. Ministry staff and SARM plant health officers will work together to implement this plan. The goal is to follow up on as many fields as possible in 2021.

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