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Stay Ahead of Blackleg

Stay Ahead of Blackleg

If you grow canola, you've done battle with blackleg. First discovered on the Prairies in the mid-1970s, blackleg remains a disease of concern for canola growers and the canola export market.

The first cultivars to carry robust genetic resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans, the more virulent form of blackleg, were introduced in the early 1990s. Today, it's pretty much table stakes for any new canola hybrid to carry an R-rating for blackleg, and breeders are even dialing in resistance mechanisms to tackle specific races of the disease.

But genetic resistance is only one avenue of defense against blackleg. Seed treatments are another and BASF has a new offering that takes the fight to blackleg.

New Vercoras┬«1 is the first seed treatment designed to control airborne blackleg through the critical early-season infection period. This is a major advance in blackleg management because primary infection occurs when spores on infected stubble become airborne and are deposited on the plant. Vercoras reduces blackleg infection on cotyledons and early leaves, and helps to reduce lodging and the degree of stem infection later in the season. With four fungicides and one insecticide, Vercoras also controls flea beetles, seed-borne blackleg and the seedling disease complex (Fusarium spp., Rhizoctonia solani, Pythium spp. and Alternaria spp.).

Airborne Blackleg


1: Source: BASF Internal RCD Trial on InVigor L255PC hybrid, Saskatoon, SK, 2020  2: Source: BASF Internal RCD Trial, Saskatoon, SK, 2020

Growers need every possible tool in the fight against blackleg, including IPM strategies like growing the newest R-rated canola hybrids, reducing disease inoculum through longer rotations, controlling host weeds, judicious fungicide use, and proper scouting and field monitoring. Vercoras is yet another great tool to add to this list. Talk to your CAM for more information.