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Clubroot Confirmed in Southeast Rocky View County

The first confirmed case of clubroot was recently found in the southeast portion of Rocky View County. Clubroot is a soil-borne disease of cruciferous crops (canola) which causes swellings or galls to form on the roots, and ultimately causes a premature death of the plant.

In 2007, Clubroot was added as a declared pest to the Alberta Agricultural Pests Act. It was originally found in a canola field northwest of Edmonton in 2003. Since then, clubroot has continued to spread into central Alberta as outlined in the attached map (Cumulative Clubroot Infestations 2003-2017, PDF).

Clubroot is mainly spread through soil with resting spores. The infected soil is then transferred from field to field by vehicles, machinery and erosion. The resting spores are extremely long lived, with a half-life of approximately 4 years. In some instances, the spores have survived in soil for up to 20 years. The longevity of the resting spores is a key factor contributing to the seriousness of the disease, especially under tight canola rotations.

There is currently no treatment for this disease but it is possible to reduce its severity by utilizing best management practices including: appropriate crop rotation, scouting fields regularly, washing & sanitizing equipment, and seeding resistant varieties of canola.

Rocky View County’s Agricultural Services Staff survey canola fields annually for the disease but are asking that all canola growers scout their fields as well. Early detection of clubroot symptoms is a critical step in reducing its spread and managing the disease. Clubroot is commonly found in field entrances but it can occur in any area of the field. Symptoms of this disease include: stunted growth, wilting, premature ripening and noticeable gals on the roots when the plant is dug up.

If you require more information, or would like an inspector to survey your field, please contact Agricultural Services at 403-230-1401.

Additional information on the identification and management of clubroot can be found by following the links below:

Posted in: Agriculture Weeds & Pests

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