Sclerotinia has the potential to be a big issue in rain soaked areas across the prairies. The disease tends to be prevalent in wet conditions in temperatures between 15 – 25 degrees. Sclerotia spores can live in the soil for up to four years. The spores germinate in the summer and release wind borne spores that can travel up to a kilometre. They usually invade the plant through the flowers or any area that can provide food for the spores to germinate and grow. Infected plants will tend to ripen prematurely and develop white or pale grey lesions on the stems, branches and pods. Hard black odd shaped fungal bodies of various sizes develop within the stems, pods and branches. Depending on the size, these fungal bodies can be extremely difficult to remove during the cleaning process and hard to identify at a glance.
In this episode of the Canola School, we talk to Steve Laroque, an independent crop advisor and owner of Beyond Agronomy. We asked Steve about some of the factors that tend to put canola at risk for sclerotinia.
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