The Agronomists, Ep 119: Sclerotinia management and other canola diseases with Jeanette Gaultier and Lyle Jensen

(Justine Cornelson/Supplied)

Sclerotinia is predictably unpredictable. Always lurking but not always a problem, so making the call to protect canola flowers can be a tough one in dry years.

To talk sclerotinia (also known as white mould of soybean and dry beans) prevention and management, special guest host Kelvin Heppner is joined by Jeanette Gaultier of BASF, and Lyle Jensen of AgroPlus on this episode of The Agronomists.

This episode of the Agronomists is brought to you by ADAMA Canada, the Canola School and RealAg on the Weekend!


  • How good are your eyes on finding apothecia?
  • Even in dry conditions, sclerotinia can be an issue and we saw that in 2022
  • Irrigation vs dryland production differences
  • Wet-pant test — it’s about dew, not losing battle control
  • Humidity might be just as much of an issue for disease formation versus actual rainfall
  • Timing of moisture
  • If the grass is green, white mould is keen (for Ontario)
  • Sclerotinia/white mould is the same pathogen
  • Sunflowers, soybeans, dry beans, canola — all hosts
  • Clip 1: Long-term management of sclerotinia includes maps
  • Under irrigation, do you turn off the pivots? Not necessarily, as the irrigation set up doesn’t knock the petals off like it used to
  • Sunflowers are a magnet for sclerotinia/white mould!
  • What about genetic selection for variety strength in rotation
  • Sclerotinia is unpredictable, predictably
  • Blackleg is different
  • What about verticillium stripe?
  • Verticillium is a great pretender. It looks like blackleg
  • Watch the leaf crutch/axle (but if you look, you’ll probably find disease)
  • Genetic evaluation at a provincial level?
  • Alberta agronomists are looking for verticillium, for sure
  • Started showing up in the canola blackleg testing
  • Are blackleg and verticillium going to be “sisters” i.e. same stressors lead to both infections
  • Check the stems, you can tell the difference
  • Verticillium travels in lines or a light gray or a starburst, not the big chunks of stems for blackleg
  • Picnidia, micro-sclerotia
  • Send it away for testing!
  • Clip 2: Chris Manchur with the Canola Council, Spraying after drought
  • Suppression impacts other things. Maybe cereal rye? What about RNAi tech for targeting sclerotinia
  • It’s damn hot in Alberta
  • What about biological products, i.e. Contans
  • What about variable rate spraying? Mapping would be a great tool, possibly
  • This year the smoke has interfered with mapping
  • Do we have genetics for verticillium stripe? We’re getting closer, but we are not there yet
  • Should mention clubroot for sure, too
  • Making sure to think about fungicide resistance — sclerotinia might have a lower risk to developing resistance, but the risk is not zero. It’s lower risk because of the one life cycle per year, not several like in cereal diseases

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