Ingrid Kristjanson



With acres increasing, tightening rotations are a concern for the canola industry.

"Because canola is a profitable crop - we grow it well, we can expect high yields and the prices are really good - there are concerns about rotations," says Ingrid Kristjanson, farm production advisor with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. "It's part of the whole management package a farmer has to look at when making planting decisions."

Next to sclerotinia, blackleg was the second worst canola disease in Manitoba last year. She says the disease is again becoming a problem.

"Resistance is the key issue for preventing the terrible blackleg infections, but rotation is always the back-up to that. Rotation, rotation, rotation. We can't emphasize that enough," she says. "In some areas there have been some crashes and significant yield losses. Although we have the resistant varieties, it doesn't guarantee that you won't have a blackleg infection."

She says they still recommend planting canola on at least a one-in-four year rotation.

"People have talked about one-in-three, but really, in a perfect world, we'd like to see that better than one-in-four. We know that can be a challenge because of decisions you're making in terms of profitability, but we really want to make people aware that it's an issue that is not going to go away," says Kristjanson.

She also suggests that growers rotate varieties, to prevent blackleg from overcoming resistance in one specific variety.

~ Tuesday, January 11, 2011 ~