As the canola crop moves out of flower and into pod fill, farmers start to notice misshapen pods. Some curl from thrips damage, others may have insect feeding damage, but it’s the tell-tale bladder-like pods of aster yellows that will make many farmers — hit hard by last year’s infection — cringe when they see them.
Aster yellows, a bacterial-like infection transmitted by the aster leaf hopper, doesn’t usually cause significant damage. 2013 has been a relatively low-incidence year, more in line with average years, but farmers are hyper aware of it after such devastating losses in 2012. As we learn in this video below, aster yellows infection at different times of year can look quite different. And, as Dr. Chrystel Olivier, of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, explains in this video, we’re likely many years away from either resistant varieties or seed treatment options.
If you cannot see the embedded video, click here.