Growers working on their canola budgets for 2011 should include disease management costs. Sclerotinia was widespread in 2010 (except in dry regions of the Peace) and sclerotinia spores will be around in big numbers in 2011. With the heavy snow pack, moisture will not be a limiting factor for sclerotia to germinate this spring and produce apothecia. Given these conditions, 2011 will probably have more inoculum than in 2010. Sclerotinia infection rates could be very high if the weather is wet during flowering. Even areas not typically considered at risk could be at risk this year. Budgets that include fertilizer and seeding rates for top yielding canola should also include sclerotinia-tolerant seed or an in-crop fungicide application or both.
Hopefully growers will be in a position to need this fungicide when the time comes. Why? Because crops that warrant a fungicide spray are the same crops that have the stand and the moisture for high yield potential.
Published on March 9, 2011