SaskCanola has partnered with Alberta Canola to lead a multi-project research initiative which will explore opportunities to strengthen grower resiliency to canola diseases. A collective investment of $1,873,877 of grower dollars from Saskatchewan and Alberta was used to leverage $3,457,985 government funding to initiate nine research projects on blackleg and verticillium stripe.
“Our objective is to ensure farmers have access to the latest technology to manage pests in their operations, while also providing quality assurance to our global customers,” stated Bernie McClean, SaskCanola Research Chair.
Several of the projects are focused on the blackleg disease. While blackleg has been around for many years, we know that is is always evolving. Currently available fungicides have limited effect on the disease, so growers rely on new canola varieties in addition to best agronomic practices in-field to be resilient towards the constantly evolving blackleg pathogen.
The results from this research will help with the development of new varieties, better screening techniques, understanding the efficacy of seed treatments, and the interaction of other pests such as flea beetle damage on the infection rate.
Verticillium stripe is a relatively new disease to Western Canada and there limited knowledge of the potential impact on canola yield in our climate. It was included as part of this disease theme to understand whether there is an impact on production and how we can reduce any yield loss.
“Our commodity organizations were established to invest in research based on needs of farmers,” expressed John Mayko, Alberta Canola Research Chair. “Investing in the future means understanding new pests and preparing our growers with the best tools and practices for managing their operations.
There will be significant benefits to canola growers in Saskatchewan and Alberta over the long term, these investments will also have a positive impact on trade relationships. By equipping our farmers to reduce blackleg prevalence in their fields, we are improving their bottom line. We are also making the industry more resilient and satisfying the needs of our global customers.
The Alberta Canola Producers Commission was the province’s first refundable check-off producer organization. The mandate of Alberta Canola is to increase the long term success of Alberta canola growers through research, producer and consumer education programs, and policy development..
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