GFM Network News


The major risk factor for sclerotinia in your canola fields will always be moisture.

Capturing spores in the fight against sclerotinia

You don’t need to guess at sclerotinia infection potential in your canola crop — three tests are available

Reading Time: 5 minutes Sclerotinia stem rot is the most yield-damaging canola disease in Western Canada, yet payback on fungicide hinges on a “yes” to these three questions: Is canopy moisture through flowering sufficient for high levels of infection? Is yield potential high enough to provide a return? Are the spores present?  The answer to question one depends on […] Read more

Verticillium microsclerotia are small grey spots, almost like the pycnidia inside a blackleg lesion. Verticillium specks are tinier, more numerous and under the epidermis, while blackleg fruiting bodies are always on the surface.

Add another one to your canola scouting list

What you thought was sclerotinia might be verticillium stripe, and the Canola Council is making it a research priority

Reading Time: 4 minutes It first appeared in Manitoba fields in 2014, and now it’s showing up in Manitoba’s crop reports. “Canola yields tend to be disappointing for farmers, with heat blast and verticillium stripe suspected as contributing factors,” said a provincial summary in mid-September. The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) says verticillium stripe (VS) is caused by V. […] Read more


Canola genetics can now manage blackleg quite well, but no matter the crop, growers also need to choose seed that will help them mitigate their risk.

Getting positive results from fungicide

Combining new technology with good agronomics helps result in a positive return from a fungicide application

Reading Time: 5 minutes The decision to apply a fungicide in any given year weighs the risk of damage from the disease against the cost of a fungicide application. As the risk for disease has spread across regions and crops, discussions on the economics of disease management can be heard on farms across Canada. But despite a rainy spring […] 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


Sclerotinia in canola. (Photo courtesy Canola Council of Canada)

Consider canola crop’s potential yield before spraying

Reading Time: 3 minutes As July approaches and crop canopies close, sclerotinia will be on the minds of many canola growers. But will it pay to spray? Fungicide applications are more likely to be profitable when the canola hits 30-40 bushels per acre, said Colleen Redlick, senior technical development specialist at BASF. Justine Cornelsen, agronomy specialist with the Canola […] 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


Grain Bins in a Canola Field

Four canola diseases to watch for

Be ready to recognize these major diseases in your canola crop this summer

Reading Time: 6 minutes Is that canola crop afflicted by blackleg, root rot, both, or something else entirely? It’s a messy question farmers and agronomists encounter every year. Presenters tried to untangle those problems at CanoLAB in Vermilion this winter. Here are four diseases to watch for in canola fields this summer, and tips on diagnosing them. 1. Blackleg […] Read more

Four canola diseases to watch for

Four canola diseases to watch for

Is that canola crop afflicted by blackleg, root rot, both, or something else entirely? It’s a messy question farmers and agronomists encounter every year. Presenters tried to untangle those problems at CanoLAB in Vermilion this winter. Here are four diseases to watch for in canola fields this summer, and tips on diagnosing them.


The rise of the 777 sunflower rust race

The rise of the 777 sunflower rust race

If it seems like rust is becoming a bigger problem for Manitoba sunflower crops, that’s because it is. Researchers have identified a new virulent race of sunflower rust that made up nearly two-thirds of the rust cases in Manitoba during the 2016 growing season. Left unchecked, the disease deprives the plant of nutrients, and can[...]
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Like their mushroom cousins, sclerotinia apothecia like warm and wet. So if your field is dry and cool, can you save the $20+ per acre in spray costs?

To spray or not to spray?

A preventive canola spray for sclerotinia can pay off, but not necessarily for blackleg

Reading Time: 5 minutes Keith Gabert rarely tells Alberta canola producers straight up not to spray fungicide as a preventive against sclerotinia stem rot. But last year, the Canola Council of Canada’s agronomy specialist for central Alberta south did just that. “In the Drumheller area, where they don’t always have as much moisture, they’d sprayed for sclerotinia in the[...]
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