Have you walked your canola fields shortly after emergence only to find several seedlings struggling and dying off or found seeds rotting in the furrow? Even treated seed can’t fully overcome the pressure of the seedling disease complex endemic to all of Western Canada’s canola growing region, especially if canola is seeded too deep or under wet and cool conditions.
Rhizoctonia, pythium and fusarium spp. all attack canola seedlings, and the symptoms are all similar enough that you’re not likely to be able to tell which is causing the most damage in your fields. The more important thing, explains Gregory Sekulic, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, is to know under what conditions seedling blights are to occur and to best manage for the threat via best establishment practices for the crop.
In this episode of the Canola School, Sekulic and Real Agriculture field editor Debra Murphy discuss symptoms of the seedling blight complex, risk factors and the minimum number of canola plants per acre necessary to achieve a decent yield.