GFM Network News


Interveinal colouring and chlorotic tissue are clear indications of sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans.

Sudden death syndrome threat in soybeans is climbing

SDS is attracting more attention as a companion of soybean cyst nematodes

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the list of pests and diseases affecting soybean production in Eastern Canada, there are widespread culprits — like soybean cyst nematode (SCN) — and regionalized, almost annual challenges, such as white mould in Eastern Ontario. Nor to be forgotten are diseases like Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia root rots, which have been less frequent in the […] Read more

Once pulled, clubroot-infected plants are best disposed of by burning.

Swift removal of infected plants key for clubroot control

You can kill the plant, but the pathogens remain to continue infecting the soil

Reading Time: 4 minutes A new study shows that even after a plant infected with clubroot has been killed with a herbicide and frozen to ensure all plant cells are dead, the pathogen survives and continues to mature. The study led by Mary Ruth McDonald, a professor of plant agriculture at the University of Guelph, and Agriculture Canada scientist […] Read more


Figure 3. Interveinal yellowing and browning typical of SDS infection.

Pest Patrol: Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and sudden death syndrome (SDS)

#PestPatrol with Albert Tenuta, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes The dry conditions in 2020 have been favourable for soybean cyst nematode (SCN) infection. A reminder that you can look for SCN by digging up plants with a shovel and gently removing soil and examining roots for the presence of the small white to yellow cysts (Figure 1 below). Cysts are considerably smaller (1 mm) […] Read more

Apothecia germinate from sclerotia in the soil. They are tiny but can be in great numbers, releasing billions of spores that go everywhere. The ones that land on canola petals are the concern for sclerotinia stem rot and are the target for fungicide applications.

How to keep sclerotinia infection to less than five per cent

New research shows fungicide applied at or just after 20 per cent flowering is still the best way to stop sclerotinia stem rot from shredding canola profits

Reading Time: 6 minutes Like a detective piecing together the timeline of a crime, Dwayne Hegedus has played and replayed the sequence of events from when a sclerotinia-infested petal drops onto a canola leaf to the all-is-lost cleaving of the cuticle. The scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon now knows, genetically, what arrows the pathogen shoots and […] Read more


Wet conditions will increase the chance of clubroot-infected soil sticking to machinery and being transferred to other fields.

Disease considerations for a late and wet spring

In the west, it could mean more clubroot transmission. In the east, growers should be concerned about phytophthora in soybeans

Reading Time: 4 minutes At the time of writing, spring moisture conditions in Eastern Canada remained to be seen, but there wasn’t much question about the Prairies — many growers would still be dealing with wet soils and late planting due to rain and snow from last fall. For example, by early October the Western Cypress Hills area of […] Read more

Sudden death syndrome is expected to worsen in southwestern Ontario soybeans and root rot could also be a serious concern this year if the conditions at planting time are wet.

Soybean and corn disease threats in Eastern Canada

Growers will need to use all their experience, best management practices and new tools to successfully combat disease in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutes Another crop season is upon us and certain disease threats stand out in soybeans and corn in Eastern Canada. “SDS (sudden death syndrome) is expected to worsen in southwestern Ontario soybeans and root rot could be a serious concern this year if the conditions at planting time are wet,” notes Dr. Owen Wally, research scientist […] Read more


The 2018 growing season was bad for gibberella ear rot in many corn fields and it remains a challenge.

Disease outlook for the 2020 crop season

We can’t be sure which diseases will attack this year, but indications are that once they arrive, they’ll be here to stay

Reading Time: 7 minutes What will be the big disease concern this year? Will it be tar spot in corn, or frog-eye leaf spot in soybeans? Or will growers be facing more of the same, with soybean cyst nematode and northern corn leaf blight? Forecasting diseases is iffy at best. The truth is that most disease pathogens, once they […] Read more

Short rotations are partly to blame for the emergence of clubroot, which can reduce canola yield to zero.

Putting a value on crop diversity

Economists and agronomists are getting together to compare the benefits of short and long rotations

Reading Time: 3 minutes Have you ever stared at your crop plan and wished that it didn’t rely so heavily on canola? Or wheat? Or peas? Or any crop that is too often called on for cash flow at the expense of proper rotation? Agronomists have been beating the drum of crop diversity for years and farmers understand that […] Read more


Mark Belmonte, researcher and associate professor at the University of Manitoba, uses big data and next-generation genetic sequencing to develop crop protection products. One new result is an RNA interference molecule that can stop sclerotinia stem rot.

Species-specific crop protection

RNA interference provides a new method of pest control, using tools so precise they hit only the target insect or disease

Reading Time: 4 minutes “We like to call sclerotinia the bully,” says Mark Belmonte. And stopping a bully is not easy. The pathogen attacks fast, it moves quickly through the plant and it can do heavy yield damage right away. “Because it acts with brute force and involves multiple genes, sclerotinia is difficult to study and get a good […] Read more

In 2016, Brûlé-Babel and her team tested 25,000 individual lines grown in single-row, one-metre-long plots. For every 75 plots there is a block of five check varieties with known resistance levels.

Row upon row of fusarium

At this ‘nursery’ at Carman, Man., researchers simulate exactly the conditions wheat farmers fear — warm, humid and loaded with fusarium spores

Reading Time: 2 minutes It’s incredibly labour intensive,” says Anita Brûlé-Babel of the FHB screening process. She should know. A professor at the University of Manitoba, Brûlé-Babel established the FHB screening nursery at the University’s Carman location back in 2001 and has managed it ever since. “It’s much more efficient to do disease screening in a nursery like this, […] Read more