Spring is the time for growers of canola to inspect their crops to determine if they have incurred any yield losses caused by the blackleg fungal disease. To assist growers with assessment of disease levels, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has released a Blackleg Management Guide Fact Sheet for spring 2015. The fact sheet provides guidance on how to sample a crop and estimate the yield loss if blackleg is present.
The guide also outlines key steps for growers to consider now when planning for next season’s canola plantings, including:
- Choose a cultivar with adequate blackleg resistance for your region
- Never sow a canola crop into the previous year’s canola stubble
- Relying only on fungicides to control blackleg poses a high risk of fungicide resistance
- If your monitoring has identified yield loss and you have grown the same cultivar for three years or more, choose a cultivar from a different resistance group
While blackleg can cause severe yield loss, the disease can be successfully managed by following industry-recommended practices.
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli