Clubroot-resistant varieties came to market for this year, providing growers another tool against the disease. But cleaning dirt from tillage and seeding equipment is still the first line of defense against the spread of clubroot. These tools are the primary carriers of infection.
At a minimum, growers should knock off soil lumps and loose soil from any machine before it enters the field. Ideally, next a power washer should be used with either hot water or steam. When coming out of known high-risk fields, the current recommendation is to finish off with an industrial disinfectant or a 1-2% active ingredient bleach solution. The solution should remain on the machinery for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Cleaning should include wheel wells, tires, undercarriage and other areas where soil accumulates. An additional strategy is to plant a grassed area near the field entrance where machinery can be cleaned.
Growers outside the clubroot zone who bought used drills or tillage tools this spring should also take these steps — especially if that equipment came from a known clubroot- infested region.
For more detail on clubroot management can visit the website, www.clubroot.ca. Click here for more on sanitation specifically.