Welcome to Clubroot Anonymous

February 8, 2018

Switch to longer rotations, reduce soil movement, grow resistant varieties — the list of keys to managing against clubroot disease has become familiar for many canola growers in Western Canada, but an Alberta farmer with years of experience farming with high clubroot concentrations has another piece of advice: don’t be afraid to talk about it.

Unlike other crop diseases like fusarium or aphanomyces, there seems to be a social stigma surrounding clubroot.

“Nobody wants to talk about it, and I think that’s the worst thing you can do — to not talk about it,” notes John Guelly, who farms in Westlock County, in this Canola School video.

There are a number of understandable reasons for this attempted secrecy: people are concerned about potentially having their property devalued, and no one wants to have neighbours or landlords speculate that management choices led to clubroot disease showing up.

Guelly compares the process of realizing you have clubroot to the stages of grieving, starting with denial and isolation, followed by anger or guilt, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.

“Eventually you have to come to some sort of acceptance and come up with a plan that’s going to allow you to continue growing canola with clubroot,” he says.

The quicker a farmer can get to the acceptance stage, the sooner that plan for managing clubroot can be implemented by the farmer, as well as agronomists, custom service providers, and neighbours.

“It’s not the end of the world getting clubroot. It certainly changes your life and your farming practices, but it’s not the end.”

Listen to Guelly discusses the social stigma surrounding clubroot and why it’s important to have open communication after his presentation on this topic at CropSphere 2018 in Saskatoon.


Canola School videos are produced by Real Agriculture.

You can watch all the canola school videos on this website and on Real Agriculture's Canola School page

Upcoming Events

Alberta Canola Producers 29th Annual General Meeting

Join the Alberta Canola Producers Commission for their Annual General Meeting.
Jan 29
Edmonton, Alberta

Leading Edge Farm Management Conference

The 2019 event is being specifically designed for those that are in the earlier stages of their farming careers.
Feb 26 - Feb 27
Red Deer, AB

canolaPALOOZA

The agronomy event of the summer!
Jun 26
Lacombe, Alberta
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