Published on Mon, 06/05/2017 by BASF Canada

Bullish market for canola puts focus on disease management

The 2017 season is poised to be a big year for canola growers. Economists predict canola earnings to range from $11.45 to $12.15/bu, and Agri-Food and Agriculture Canada released its first seeded acre estimates for 2017, with canola up 3.1 percent to 21M acres – a five-year high. Many regions throughout Saskatchewan are estimating upwards of 40 percent of the acres will have canola on them, which begs the question: how many of these acres will be a canola-snow-canola rotation?

Last year was a perfect storm for sclerotinia infection in the prairies.

Increased broadleaf crops – like pulses and soybeans – were added to the rotation, and economics drove tighter canola rotations. According to the Canola Council of Canada, most canola fields across Canada are infected by sclerotinia: it’s just a matter of degree. In 2016, Canola Council agronomists said fields with more than 60 percent incidence were not uncommon, and in some parts of Manitoba, that climbed to an astonishing 93 percent.

Sclerotinia and its potential for yield loss is on everyone’s minds going into 2017.

“One of the best management techniques for sclerotinia is a preventative fungicide application,” said Justine Cornelson, an Agronomy Specialist with the Canola Council of Canada. “For growers battling sclerotinia, it is good to use multiple modes of action and rotate chemistries.”

The risk of sclerotinia is too close for comfort for canola grower Murray Schaefer. Schaefer farms with his family in Stonewall, northwest of Winnipeg, and did a trial of several fungicide products to determine which would be best for managing sclerotinia on his fields. “Based on our trial, we are planning to use a multiple-mode-of-action fungicide for the coming year,” he said. “We used a new product, Cotegra, and saw a definite yield increase. With the combined active ingredients in Cotegra, we saw an increase of about four bushels per acre over the trials we did with a single mode of action.”

In early 2017, BASF received registration of Cotegra, a new fungicide that combines the trusted actives, prothioconazole (group 3) and boscalid (group 7). The combination of the two proven ingredients has shown to deliver unparalleled management of sclerotinia in canola.

“Our goal was to bring a product to market that growers could trust and rely on to protect their canola from sclerotinia” said Sydney Marlow, Canola Crop Manager with BASF. “We know growers see the benefit of using two complimentary modes of action, and are excited to see how Cotegra performs in 2017.”

Grower-run, field-scale trials with Cotegra showed a significant reduction and frequency of sclerotinia in canola. “We conducted numerous 40-acre, on-farm trials with growers who were looking for solutions to manage sclerotinia,” said Colleen Redlick, a Technical Service Specialist with BASF. “In our trials, 28.1 percent of the untreated check was infected with sclerotinia, compared to 11 percent infection on acres treated with a competitor’s brand. Only 10.7 percent of the acres treated with Cotegra had sclerotinia infection. What’s more, Cotegra delivered the highest yield benefit at 59.2 bu/ac, compared to 58.4 for competitor acres, and 55.9 for the untreated check.”

For growers who are growing canola this year, it’s not worth risking your investment. Applying a preventative fungicide just makes sense to maximize yields and profitability. 

 

© 2017 BASF Canada Inc.