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Answer: Rhizoctonia foot rot, but… This canola plant is from a field of canola on canola. Plants were found with blackleg lesions and root maggot tunnels. Wireworms were found in the soil, and may have joined the maggots in feeding on the roots. The crop also got hail. But as for the below-ground stem girdling shown in the photo, the cause is rhizoctonia foot rot. Lab tests confirmed it. However, root maggots and root rots are often found together, each a possible cause for the other — as you’ll read in the article in this week’s Canola Watch. The most effective agronomy response for both is crop rotation.