Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network

Crop Soybean
Start Date2018
End Date2023
Principal InvestigatorTurkington, Thomas, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe
MPSG Financial Support$45,000
External Funding PartnersWGRF, Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster

Research Objectives

  1. to establish a Prairie Crop Disease Monitoring Network that integrates existing disease monitoring and surveillance and reporting activities into an overall monitoring initiative for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba;
  2. in conjunction with WGRF develop a web-based platform similar to the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network to coordinate and harmonize monitoring and reporting of prairie-wide of disease prevalence and severity;
  3. to develop survey goals, protocols for scientific-based surveys, and protocols for producer or consultant scouting-focused protocols;
  4. to provide consistent (annual) prairie-wide crop disease monitoring;
  5. to facilitate the development of GIS mapping capacity for disease surveillance results; and
  6. to provide training and resources to ensure sufficient expertise and capacity exist for adequate annual surveillance activities by a range of stakeholders.

Project Description

Crop disease monitoring on the Canadian Prairies is a valuable activity, but is often viewed as being less important than laboratory or field-based research.  Surveillance of crop health issues provides growers, extension staff, researchers, government agencies, and industry stakeholders with information that enables informed decision making with respect to integrated pest management, setting research/funding priorities, product placement, and pest distribution and severity. It also provides a mechanism for proactive surveillance for new or invasive diseases, while identifying shifts in existing pathogens in relation to virulence and fungicide sensitivity.

Annual crop disease monitoring is done in some provinces such as Saskatchewan (SK) and Manitoba (MB), but not on all crops. Additionally, disease monitoring in Alberta (AB) has been largely project based, and thus has major gaps in historical records for some crops. In addition, the information that is generated is not typically readily available to producers and industry.