Crews in the County of Grande Prairie are fighting their first case of clubroot. During a recent routine inspection, Agricultural Fieldman Sonja Raven says the disease was found on a farm in the Webster/Sexsmith area.
“This is the first year we have found it and I have been quite confident in saying in the past that we didn’t have it because of our extensive surveying… For me, the way I’ve looked at it is it’s not a matter of if we were going to get it, it’s a matter of when.”
The County is the sixth municipality in the Peace Region to confirm the disease has been found within its borders. Raven says the farm it was found on had a very small section of plants affected with no other symptoms in the plants but clubroot can kill crops such as canola, cabbage, mustard, and broccoli if it progresses.
“It hijacks the plant by taking over the root system by building these galls and basically all the nutrition and the resources that would be going to the plant, go to building these galls instead so the plant can’t thrive. If your roots aren’t functioning in a plant, the plant can’t take in water and it can’t take in any nutrients from the soil.”
Clubroot is a soil-borne disease and Raven says people should make sure equipment is clean before taking it from place to place and make sure quads are free from dirt especially if they have been in the Edmonton or Leduc areas which she says they have a high concentration of the disease.