Regulated pest no more: Alberta removes fusarium from the Pest Act

Fusarium graminearum is set to be removed from Pest Nuisance Control Regulation of the Agricultural Pests Act, according to Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture, Devin Dreeshen.

Value chain partners in the industry-led fusarium head blight (FHB) working group say they welcome the provincial government’s news that lays the foundation for better fusarium head blight management and improved competitiveness for Alberta farmers.

The working group, which consists of farmers, input companies, and other stakeholders, says it has long advocated for this shift from regulatory control to a province-wide approach that promotes the extension and education of best management practices of the cereal disease.

“This decision is welcomed, but is a decade late,” says Shaun Haney, host of RealAg Radio. “The idea that Alberta would treat a plant disease like a rat was just bad policy.”

As part of the campaign to mitigate FHB through extension and education, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, in collaboration with the working group, are developing a website called, ‘Let’s Manage It!’ that will serve as a resource aimed at FHB mitigation, while providing a roadmap for industry-wide FHB management. The website will compile information on best management practices that farmers can learn from and implement on their own operations as needed.

The commissions will launch www.manageFHB.ca in the coming days.

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