Canola School: Check seed labels to rotate blackleg resistance

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You may notice some new information on canola seed bags this year — a label that lists what type of blackleg resistance the variety contains.

We’ll spare you all the quirky names and numbers for the actual genetic resistance, but Dilantha Fernando, with the University of Manitoba, says farmers can use the alphabetical designation of each resistance type to manage the disease and extend the useful life of the resistance. (Read more here.)

Fernando calls the easy-to-follow resistance labeling a “great achievement of the canola industry,” as cooperation across the value chain moved forward this management tool.

The goal is to help farmers first identify what strains of blackleg they may have on their farm if they’re seeing symptoms, and then best match resistance options. Part two, says Fernando, is a using the lettered system to then rotate between resistance genes, especially in tight crop rotations. Fernando does note, however, that longer rotations are always preferred and are a great first step in a disease management plan; rotation of resistance is secondary to proper rotations.

(Watch for an upcoming Canola School for more on testing to determine which blackleg strains are present!)

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