Root Rot An Issue For Saskatchewan Farmers

Aug 10, 2020

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Pulse growers are once again dealing with issues around root rot in areas that saw moisture this year, last year it was a real concern in the West Central part of the province.
Aphanomyces and fusarium are two key diseases that can contribute to root rot.
Sherrilyn Phelps, the Agronomy Manager with Sask Pulse Growers says aphanomyces is the one that's most problematic.
"There's nothing we can do to control it and it lives in the soil for more than 10 years once you do have it. So, it's just something that like once its there it's very, very hard to get rid of and takes a very long time for the level in the soil to get down to a level that's safe to go back in and plant."
Aphanomyces is more common in years with abundant moisture.
She notes symptoms of root rot started showing up in pea and lentil crops following the June rains.
"It has a dramatic impact, you can see those fields driving down the road that have root rots, they are completely yellow. The yield potential is greatly reduced, you know in some cases it can be just minimally impacted, but in a lot of cases its a fair impact on yields. I can't give you an exact number, but we've seen almost complete write offs depending on when the disease comes in and how badly it comes in."
She notes there is no control options available for root rot other than lengthening crop rotations and susceptible species like pulses.
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