CALGARY, July 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Prairie farmers may experience
disappointment in wheat yields and quality due to an unusually high
infestation rate of disease commonly seen in canola now impacting wheat
and other prairie crops.
Dr. Ieuan Evans, Pathologist and Senior AGRI-TREND® Agri-Coach® has
confirmed the widespread infection of Aster Yellows in wheat and other
"It is not uncommon to find Aster Yellows in canola most years. However,
this year the infection rates in canola are as high 10-40% in many
areas." Says Evans, "However, our Agri-Coach professionals began to
notice unusual disease symptoms in wheat fields adjacent to infested
canola fields together with very high levels of leaf hoppers."
In infested wheat fields the disease has taken the form of yellowish to
reddish foliage along with premature dying of randomly scattered wheat
plants at anthesis or early milk stage. Areas such as Swan River, MB
and the northeastern corner of Saskatchewan have up to 30-40% of
bleached or dying heads observed in wheat fields infected with Aster
Yellows. The symptoms have also been observed in central and northern
Alberta. This will likely result in significant yield loss.
Diseased wheat, barley and canola samples gathered throughout the
prairies by Agri-Coach field personnel have been confirmed positive for
Aster Yellows in tests performed CFIA approved laboratory
Phyto-Diagnostics Ltd run by Dr. Peter Ellis. Additional samples are
being forwarded to Agriculture Canada personnel for testing.
"It is felt that this year the Aster Yellows infestation occurred as a
consequence of unusually high levels of leaf hoppers arriving in
prairie Canada from the US in mid-May to early-June. Early spring tests
of the leaf hoppers by Manitoba Agriculture confirmed higher than
normal levels of phytoplasmal infection. The Agri-Trend field tours
continue to reveal very high levels of leaf hoppers and phytoplasmal
infections." Comments Evans, "Additional reports are now coming in from
the Agri-Trend Network of infections in flax and barley."
SOURCE: Agri-Trend Group of Companies
For further information:
Elston Solberg, President
Senior Agri-Trend® Agri-Coach®
Agri-Trend Agrology Ltd