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AgReview

Clubroot and Energy/Utility Developments

Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease that affects crops in the cruciferous family by reducing yield and quality. Clubroot was first identified in canola crops in Alberta in 2003. The visible signs of clubroot are galls or clubs that form on the roots, which can impede nutrient and water uptake. Depending on the stage of infection, visible, above-ground symptoms may include stunted growth and wilted plants. Clubroot can cause devastating yield losses, so canola fields should be scouted regularly and carefully.

Clubroot can be very difficult to control. The spores can remain dormant for many years before affecting a crop, and can be spread through the movement of contaminated soil, wind or water erosion. Studies have shown that most clubroot infestations in Alberta begin at field access points, which suggests that contaminated equipment and machinery is the most common way that the disease is spread. Landowners and occupants need to be proactive with sanitation measures to prevent the spread of clubroot as the resting spores are extremely long lived and may survive in soil for up to 20 years.

Posted in: Agriculture

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