County of Vermilion River Clubroot of Canola - Updated Oct. 6 - Signs For Sale

October 6

No Trespassing signs are available at the County Office in Kitscoty on a cost recovery basis.

KITSCOTY, AB (August 25, 2011)

The County of Vermilion River Agriculture Service Board has confirmed the first occurrence of clubroot of canola within the County.

The County has conducted a thorough inspection of a canola crop in the Vermilion area and has confirmed a crop is infected with the disease which can substantially reduce crop yield. Howie Bjorge, Agricultural Fieldman, explained that several precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the disease. “The County has restricted access to the affected field, expanded the clubroot survey and increased the number of samples being submitted for analysis. We are informing industry partners that equipment must be thoroughly cleaned before entering the County”. Investigation is continuing into identifying the mechanism of contamination.

Crucifer crops, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard and canola, can be infected by this soil-borne disease. Clubroot is especially problematic because the pathogen persists in soil for many years and cannot be controlled with crop protection products currently registered in Canada. The causal agent infects roots resulting in irregular club-like galls that restrict the flow of water and nutrients to leaves, stems and pods. Visible symptoms on the plant include wilting, stunted growth, yellowing, premature ripening and shrivelled seed.

Reeve Richard Van Ee expressed Council’s concern with the serious nature of this infection and the impact it can have on this major crop. “Producers and land owners are the stewards of their lands and extreme caution must be used to safeguard against the spread of this disease. Producers must be diligent in cleaning their equipment before moving between fields while landowners have the authority to request others accessing their land, such as hunters, custom equipment operators or resource companies, to exercise the same precautions before entering fields.”

Detailed information on clubroot in canola can be found in the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development clubroot management plan document on the website at$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex11519.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Howie Bjorge  - Agricultural Fieldman - County of Vermilion River - 780-846-2244 or 780-853-5492 or

Richard Van Ee - Reeve - County of Vermilion River 780-853-7865 (c) or 780-853-2730 (h)


Visible Symptoms of Clubroot include:
• Wilting of plants
• Stunted growth
• Yellowing
• Premature ripening
• Shrivelled seed
Plants that have finished flowering may have symptoms that from a distance resemble sclerontinia stem rot or possibly fusarium wilt.
In most cases clubroot can be diagnosed with close examination of the root system for the irregular club-like galls.

Strategies for Managing Clubroot of Canola:
Prevention is the best management strategy since there is no real cure for clubroot.
1. A long rotation between canola crops (1 in 4 years) is the single most important preventative strategy.
2. Plant disease resistant varieties of canola.
3. Adopt good equipment sanitation practices - clean dirt from equipment, including tires, when moving between fields.
4. Avoid hay or straw purchases from regions where clubroot is known to occur or if infestation is suspected. Straw and hay could be carrying soil and the pathogen.
5. Landowners are encouraged to investigate the previous location of use of outside equipment entering the land. Consideration should be given to allowing access to:
• Hunters,
• Oilfield and seismic equipment, and
• Custom equipment operators

The Clubroot Management Plan developed by the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is available online at$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex11519.