Most agricultural production in Canada is seeded to row crops. Some of the highest value crops (such as cereals, oilseeds, corn and soybeans) generally fall into this category. Disease continues to be a threat to the value of row crops. Fusarium head blight in cereals and giberella ear rot in corn results in a reduction in yield and can contaminate the grain with the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Fusarium-damaged kernels are an issue for cereal growers as they result in dockage at grading. Currently corn growers are not penalized for DON presence in their corn, however there is speculation that situation will soon change. While not toxic to animals, it can result in feed refusal in both hogs and cattle.
Sclerotinia (also called white mould) is a threat to more that 400 plant species including canola, soybeans and vegetables. The spores that cause sclerotinia are present all across Canada. Sclerotinia can overwinter for up to five years, so crop rotation and other management practices will help remove the disease from the soil. Given the high value of the crops and the effectiveness of a fungicide application, growers see a high rate of return when using a fungicide, even when infection levels are low.