Weather increases concern over Blackleg

Preventative tips for canola growers

Concerns over Blackleg in canola have increased in Western Canada throughout the past few seasons.  With wet conditions this spring and increased canola production under shortened rotations, protecting a valuable canola crop is more important than ever.

With the potential to reduce lucrative canola yields, Blackleg is a disease that needs proactive measures to prevent infection. BASF Technical Specialist, Glen Forster, offers these tips to help growers protect their investment:

Inspect your crop regularly: Fields with the greatest risk for Blackleg are those where there has been a yield loss as a result of Blackleg in previous years and varieties with lower Blackleg disease ratings are grown under short rotations. Early symptoms of Blackleg appear as lesions on cotyledons and the first true leaves. Lesions are round or irregular, often dotted with numerous black pycnidia – as they mature they become greyish in colour and form on the stem.

Exercise good crop management: Blackleg inoculum overwinters in crop residues and will be more prevalent where canola is seeded under tight rotations.  Growers should use sound crop rotation as well as rotate canola varieties to help manage Blackleg inoculum levels on a farm.

Apply fungicides preventively: Fungicides should be used preventively before symptoms appear, effectively stopping the disease before it starts. A product such as HEADLINE® from BASF can be tank-mixed with all canola herbicide systems and applied at herbicide timing before the appearance of Blackleg disease symptoms.

Keep your crop healthy: When plants are not challenged by disease, they are able to grow more efficiently and tolerate short periods of cold, heat and drought. Not only does HEADLINE protect against Blackleg, it provides the plant health benefits of AgCelence® to produce stronger stems, bigger leaves and an overall healthier plant.

Beware of other diseases: Blackleg is only part of the issue; Sclerotinia is an important canola disease that thrives in wet conditions. An early season application of HEADLINE to control Blackleg followed by an application of LANCE® at the 20 to 50 per cent bloom stage to control Sclerotinia will provide the best possible protection for canola crops.

About BASF Crop Protection Division

With sales of €4.0 billion in 2010, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at or follow us on twitter:

Always read and follow label directions.
Media Relations:
Tabetha Boot
Tel: 403-461-1253