While there are hundreds of varieties of carrots grown in Canada, there are four main types: Nantes, Imperator, Chantenay and Danvers. With proper cleaning and climate management, carrots can be stored for up to 6-9 months without losing out on quality. Seed improvements have meant a big improvement in yields. At one time a 50% stand was considered a good crop, today that number has climbed to 80% or greater. Because of the seed’s higher value, growers are choosing seed treatments to prevent seedling disease.
Prevention is key to disease management
Sclerotinia is a growing concern for carrot producers as the disease overwinters in the soil for up to five years and is present in fields across Canada. Sclerotinia, which can attack in the field or in storage, results in carrots that are watery and soft. While a foliar fungicide can control the disease, rotating into cereals or forage crops can help remove the disease from the soil. Early blight, or leaf spot, is also problematic in carrots. This disease can be confused with leaf blight, a disease that is prone to attacking the older foliage. Early blight, on the other hand, affects young leaves. It causes significant yield losses and degrades the quality of the tops, making them unsuitable for mechanical harvesting.
Keep broadleaf weeds at bay
Weeds in carrots not only provide competition for yield and crop quality, they are also hosts for insects and disease, making in-season management more difficult. Shallow cultivation along with pre-season perennial weed control help get the crop off to a strong start. Annual broadleaf and grassy weeds can be controlled with a post-emergent herbicide application.
Numerous insects threaten a carrot crop
There are a number of different insects that cause varying damage throughout the growing season, but they can be controlled with insecticide treatments. Leafhoppers are hosts and spread the disease Astor yellows. The insects can remain infected and spread disease for 100 days after infection. Carrot weevils cause localized damage that can have a significant economic impact. Rust flies tunnel into the carrot making them unmarketable. Cutworms attack young seedlings for early season losses.