Mitigating the risk of blackleg disease of canola using fungicide strategies

Researcher: Gary Peng, AAFC Saskatoon Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK, Dilantha Fernando, Dept. Plant Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB, and Ralph Lange, Alberta Innovates –Technology Futures, Vegreville, AB

Project Code: CARP2011-03

Final Report: March 31, 2015

Summary: Blackleg, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, used to be the most widespread fungal disease of canola in western Canada. The disease was well controlled for many years with resistant canola cultivars and extended crop rotation, but has increased noticeably in recent years. Researchers from western Canada conducted a four-year, multi-site study to assess the efficacy and yield benefit of fungicide strategies in blackleg management in case the varietal resistance erodes rapidly. The results show that fungicides generally do not pay if the cultivar resistance still holds or the disease pressure is light. In fields with increased blackleg incidence, crop and cultivar rotation should be considered first. If these measures don't alleviate the disease sufficiently, then a fungicide treatment may be considered when disease risk is high.

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