Pulse School: Biosecurity considerations for aphanomyces management

Sabine Banniza, professor and strategic research program chair at the University of Saskatchewan, talks aphanomyces and fusarium detection.

Trying to “cure” aphanomyces of pea and lentil is similar to trying to find a cure for something as complex as cancer. The organism is hardy, spreads easily, and persists in soil for a long time.

Dr. Sabine Banniza, with the University of Saskatchewan Crop Development Centre, says the root rot pathogen is likely native to the Prairies, however it’s a convergence of several factors that has created a huge economic issue for pulse growers in Saskatchewan.

The increase of pea and lentil in rotation over the years likely has contributed to building of the pathogen load, but very wet years or large rain events has also increased infection and spread the disease, she adds.

While the disease does spread by water, infected soil particles can introduce aphanomyces to new fields. For those in infested areas, farmers should work from cleanest to infested fields if they hope to minimize the spread, Banniza explains.

Check out more Pulse School episodes here.

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