SaskCanola, in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, will continue to offer free disease testing for blackleg and clubroot to farmers, with the addition of testing for verticillium stripe new this year.
Verticillium stripe was first reported in Canada in 2014, and there is still much to learn about this disease. It presents symptoms similar to blackleg and sclerotinia and can easily be confused with and assumed to be another canola disease.
Soil testing is the optimal way to detect the clubroot pathogen prior to canola plants appearing symptomatic. Soil samples should be collected in late summer or around swathing time. To start the clubroot testing process, farmers can call the SaskCanola office at (306) 975-0262 to request a soil sampling bag.
Stem testing is the only way to know whether a canola field has blackleg or verticillium stripe. Samples should be collected while plants are still green, around swathing time. The first 200 registered canola producers who apply are eligible for a free blackleg and verticillium stripe test, as only one sample is needed to test for both diseases.