Verticillium Wilt of canola detected in Manitoba

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) has identified Verticillium wilt (Verticillium longisporum) in canola (Brassica napus) in Manitoba. This is the first time this disease has been detected in Canada.

Symptoms of Verticillium wilt in canola as plant fully ripens (photo courtesy of MAFRD)

The disease was visually identified by the MAFRD Crop Diagnostic Centre on a canola sample submitted because patches of wilted canola were observed in a field. The pathogen culture was sent to the National Fungal Identification Service in Ottawa for molecular identification, which confirmed it as Verticillium longisporum.  MAFRD is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to implement biosecurity risk mitigation measures where this pest was detected. The CFIA will conduct further surveying in spring 2015 to determine the spread of the pathogen.
For more information on:
  • Facts about Verticillium Wilt in Canola
  • Management of Verticillium Wilt in Canola
  • Symptoms of Verticillium Wilt in Canola at Harvest

visit MAFRD’s website at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/plant-diseases/verticillium-wilt-of-canola-detected-in-manitoba.html

A factsheet on Verticillium wilt in canola containing information on biology, symptoms of damage, scouting techniques, and control tips is also available on MAFRD’s website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/plant-diseases/verticillium-wilt-of-canola-factsheet.html

For more information, please contact MAFRD’s Crop Knowledge Centre at 204-745-5660
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Over the Course of Time: Manitoba Canola Diseases 2009-2014

Canola is one of the most economically important crops produced in Manitoba and yield robbers such as canola diseases need to be identified in order to apply best management practices. For many years, sclerotinia has been the most significant canola disease in Manitoba. However, in recent years the prevalence (% of fields infested) and incidence (% plants infected per field) of blackleg have been increasing.

Disease incidence and severity will change from year to year based on use of genetic resistance in varieties, environmental conditions, and agronomic practices such as crop rotation and fungicide use. Annual surveys of commercial canola crops provide valuable information on the distribution of disease, impact of farming practices on severity and incidence, help agronomists and farmer prioritize where future resources need to be directed, and can provide an early-warning system that provides information on the occurrence of disease/pesticide breakdown.

For more information on the annual Manitoba canola disease survey including methods, results from 2009 to 2014, and further discussion, please view the attached poster which was presented at the 2014 Manitoba Agronomists Conference:

Over the Course of Time Manitoba Canola Diseases 2009_2014 (Kubinec et al., 2014)

For more information on canola diseases in Manitoba, and information on various types of control methods, please visit MAFRD’s website at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/plant-diseases/index.html
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Yields Respectable in 2014 Despite a Challenging Year

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) has released an early version of the 2014 yield report with 99.8% of the Harvest Production Reports (HPRs) keyed in.  The table below summarizes the 2014 average yield by crop type based on the harvested acres, as well as comparisons to 2013 and a 5-year average (2009 to 2013).

2014 yields

In February 2015, MASC will release their annual Yield Manitoba publication and update their Manitoba Management Plus Program (MMPP) website (http://www.mmpp.com/mmpp.nsf/mmpp_index.html) where further information on yields and acres by variety will be released.  Additionally, the data will be more complete in February as all HPR’s will be keyed in.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Anastasia Kubinec & Dennis Lange, Crop Specialist with MAFRD

Special Thanks to Doug Wilcox, MASC, for providing the 2014 data!

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2014 Canola Performance Trials (CPT) are now available!

Although Canola Performance Trial Data is included in SEED MANITOBA 2015, I would invite you to check out the web-based presentation of this data at the website below:


The website allows you to either print or view the entire 2014 report and makes reports from past year available through an archive.

There is also a variety comparison tool available on the website that allows you to sort data to more accurately compare varieties.  This tool allows you to sort data by province or specific site, year, herbicide system, research design (small plot, field scale or both) and growing season zone (short, mid, long).

Submitted by:  Terry Buss, Farm Production Advisor – Crops, MAFRD

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WANTED: Canola Fields to Test for low levels of Clubroot

Pest Surveillance Initiative (PSI) lab is a project of the Manitoba Canola Growers Association (MCGA) and Manitoba, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD).  The PSI lab provides Manitoba growers with the ability to test soil for low levels of clubroot DNA.  Although more than 250 township-range combinations have been collected through the Manitoba Canola Disease Survey (2009-2014), an additional 650 samples are needed  provide coverage of all the agricultural areas of Manitoba.  With funding from the Growing Forward 2, Growing Actions program, PSI is working to complete a map to outline the current incidence of clubroot within Manitoba on a township-range basis.

 PSI is looking for canola fields from all township-ranges in agro-Manitoba to be sampled for low level presence of clubroot DNA.  If you are interested in having your canola fields sampled for this project, please contact Mavis McPhail at [email protected].  When sending your email please provide the legal land descriptions that had canola in 2014, so we can cross-reference to the township-ranges already sampled.  Only fields in township-range combinations not previously sampled will be sampled through this project.

 PSI will send a trained pathologist to sample selected fields free of charge and have that sample analyzed for presence and concentration of clubroot spores in the soil.  Growers will receive the results from their fields directly from PSI. All individual grower information and specific section coordinates will remain confidential, but the township-range level will be used to generate a map showing the presence/absence of clubroot.  This map will be updated regularly as additional samples are analyzed.

For more information on clubroot in Manitoba:



Plant Surveillance Initiative Lab: www.mbpestlab.ca

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Are Your Canola Swaths Turning Black?

Submitted by Holly Derksen, MAFRD Field Crop Pathologist

There have been a number of reports of ripe canola looking black or, in some cases, sooty. Upon closer examination, it looks as if a black mould is growing on senescing plants.

The good news, this sooty growth is caused by saprophytic fungi that only infect tissue that is already dead or dying – these are not pathogenic fungi, although they can be closely related to them. The bad news, in the fields we have been called to, the saprophytic fungi are growing on plants that are senescing earlier than other plants in the field due to the presence of disease, most notably blackleg.

So, although the black “mould” on the plants isn’t the issue itself, it can lead you into the field where you could discover an underlying problem. Once again, we recommend jumping off the swather with a pair of clippers, pulling up plants, and clipping them at the base of the stem to look for discolouration in the cross-section. You can’t do anything about the blackleg in this year’s crop, but the knowledge of its presence can help you with future management decisions. Rotation rotation rotation!!

 sooty mould canola 2014

sooty mould canola 2014-2

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Manitoba Disease & Insect Update – August 15th

A Manitoba Insect and Disease Update for the week of August 11-15, 2014 has been posted at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonal-reports/insect-report-archive/insect-update-2014-08-15.html

Highlights include:

  • Grasshoppers continue to be a concern in some areas.
  • Lygus bugs should be scouted in canola in the late-flowering and early-podding stages.
  • Soybean aphid has been found in Manitoba, but only at very low levels.

Submitted by: John Gavloski, Entomologist & Vikram Bisht, Pathologist, MAFRD

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Clubroot Distribution in Manitoba

MAFRD has released a map that shows positive clubroot (CR) findings by Rural Municipalities (RM) discovered through soil and/or plant tissue analysis for presence of CR DNA or symptomatic plants from sampling done between 2009-2013.  It is available at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/plant-diseases/clubroot-distribution-in-manitoba.html

In Manitoba, CR positive fields are defined as where DNA of the CR pathogen, Plasmodiophora brassicae, has been confirmed in soil or fields where canola plants with clubroot symptoms have been found.

Testing to date has been limited as less than 2% of the farms in Manitoba have been sampled; positive findings have been sporadic and at low concentrations throughout the province. As more fields are sampled, the map will be updated.

Cleaning of both agricultural and non-agricultural equipment is recommended, removing visible soil and plant debris off equipment using shovel, scraper, and/or compressed air. Once an RM is determined to be positive, then cleaning of equipment as previously recommended is necessary and should be followed by a water wash and a disinfectant (eg. 2% bleach).

For more information, contact the MAFRD Crops Knowledge Centre.

Submitted by:  Anastasia Kubinec, Provincial Oilseed Crops Specialist, MAFRD

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Manitoba Disease & Insect Update – August 8th

A Manitoba Insect and Disease Update for the week of August 4-8, 2014 has been posted at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonal-reports/insect-report-archive/insect-update-2014-08-08.html.

Highlights Include:

  • Scouting for canola diseases has begun. Blackleg, root rots, white mold, aster yellows and alternaria pod blight will be surveyed.
  • Lygus Bugs in canola – The growth stage where canola has the most potential to have yield reduced by Lygus bugs is the early-podding stage.
  • In corn, scouting for Goss’s wilt and leaf blight disease will help growers understand the status in their crop. A few plants are showing common smut, which is not a serious disease.
  • Some have been asking about red mites seen on the wings of grasshoppers.

Red mites on grasshoppers.

Submitted by: John Gavloski, Entomologist & Vikram Bisht, Pathologist, MAFRD


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Manitoba Insect & Disease Update – July 28 to August 1, 2014

A Manitoba Insect and Disease Update for the week of July 28-August 1, 2014 has been posted at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonal-reports/insect-report-archive/insect-update-2014-08-01.html

Highlights include:


  • Fusarium head blight risk for wheat is moderate to low in different areas of Manitoba. Most of the wheat crops have finished flowering and thus at low risk. By end of the month, Fusarium head blight risk maps may not be needed.
  • Grasshoppers continue to be a concern in some fields.
  • Canola growers should be checking canola for Lygus bugs. Lygus can potentially be of concern when they feed on the pods of canola if levels are high, although feeding to flowering crops is not likely to be economical as canola has a very good ability to compensate for damage to flowers, especially when soil moisture is good. So far Lygus levels appear to be below economic levels in canola, with a few exceptions in the Eastern part of Manitoba.

Note: For those monitoring traps for bertha armyworm, the traps can be removed after you do your counts this week. We have enough weeks of data to know what the regional risks are. Overall trap counts in Manitoba were quite low this year. A map of the cumulative counts, as of July 28th, is posted in the update, and risk maps are also posted at the following MAFRD website (the July 28th map will be posted tomorrow): http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/insects/bertha-armyworm-forecast.html

Submitted by: John Gavloski, Entomologist & Vikram Bisht, Pathologist, MAFRD