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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Strike First Against Sclerotinia

Strike First Against Sclerotinia

Sclerotinia can have a big impact on your canola yield, and once you see it in your fields, it’s too late. When infected plants are present, sclerotinia stem rot can cost Canadian canola growers an average loss of 14 percent of their yield or more*, depending on the incidence and severity of the infection. That’s the bad news. The good news, is management of those losses are within your control.

*15 fungicide trials under high sclerotinia pressure (2014 ‒ 2016). High pressure was measured by susceptible check that was greater than 10 percent disease incidence.

Strike First Against Sclerotinia

A reason for concern

Across the Prairies there was widespread damage from sclerotinia in 2016. That year, the conditions were ripe for disease development, as outbreaks have a direct connection to spore load, crop density and weather conditions. With high in-canopy humidity anywhere from two weeks before flowering through to the end of flowering – sclerotinia can flourish.

The sclerotia that causes sclerotinia is lurking in the soil in all three Prairie Provinces. According to Canola Watch in 2016, 90 percent of all Prairie fields surveyed tested positive for the disease. Due to the high levels of disease in 2016, there is still a lot of inoculum in the soil.

With many diseases, crop rotation can be an effective way of reducing disease levels within the soil. Unfortunately, crop rotation alone won’t eliminate the potential for the disease. Sclerotinia spores are easily spread from neighbouring fields and sclerotinia can survive for up to five years in the soil to infect a number of other susceptible broadleaf crops.

A general rule when it comes to estimating yield loss from sclerotinia is described as ‘half the incidence rate.’ So an incidence level of 10 percent could cost you five percent of your yield. Once your crop is in the ground, the only way to effectively guard against sclerotinia is to be proactive. Proline fungicide will protect your crop and your yield. In trials with incidence levels of greater than 10 percent, results showed a 16 percent increase in yield following an application of Proline when compared to the untreated.

Get Proactive with Proline

Sclerotinia infection can result in decreased yield potential from:

  • Plant death before seed development
  • Uneven seed maturity
  • Underdeveloped seed pods
  • Lower seed weights
  • Increased risk of losses in swath

Sclerotinia can be extremely difficult to predict, so being proactive and planning to use a trusted fungicide is critical to ensuring your fields are protected. Plan on a Proline fungicide application this season to effectively reduce infection. More growers use Proline for reliable control of sclerotinia than any other canola fungicide.

To learn more about Proline or calculate your potential return on investment from an application, visit the Proline Product Page