Clubroot and Crop Pests

The County of Vermilion River has the ideal climate to grow a variety of crops, including canola, barley, wheat, peas, corn, flax and additinal crops. Crops can be infected by diseases and insects that affect yields. The County of Vermilion River can provide advice to residents on identification and control methods and also enforce the Government of Alberta's Agricultural Pests Act and Regulation. 



Clubroot is a serious soil-borne disease that commonly occurs in canola fields. Clubroot can spread easily and cause serious yeild losses to crops. The County of Vermilion River conducts annual clubroot inspections on canola fields to check for the presence of the disease.

If clubroot is found, producers will be contacted by the Agriculutral Fieldman to create a clubroot management plan that focuses on the preventtion of further spread and proper management of the disease which is outlined in The County's Management Plan Template.

For the latest update of clubroot in the county please see the 2022 Clubroot Survey Results and Information Sheet or click the below map for the interactive County of Vermilion River Clubroot Map that includes postive and negative inspections from 2017 - 2021. 

Clubroot | Canola Encyclopedia 

Clubroot Management techniques

  • Reduce tillage in infected fields
  • Practice proper crop rotations. The County of Vermilion recommends a 1 in 3 year rotation to reduce clubroot spore load in infected field
  • Use appropriate clubroot-resistant canola varieties when growing canola
  • Clean and sanitize equipment after each use
  • Reduce soil movement from field to field as clubroot spores live in the soil and spread easily

In addition to the above, Canola Council of Canada has a complete list of full resources on preventing clubrootWhat's New with clubroot and the Clubroot Disease Cycle.

Clubroot is widespread throughout Alberta. Please see the Alberta Clubroot Map to see the rates of clubroot positive fields across the province. 

Enhanced Clubroot Surveillance  

  • The County of Vermilion River is a proud partner of the Enhanced Clubroot Surveillance Program in North Eastern Alberta in partnership with six other municipalities and the Canadain Agriculture Partnership.
  • In addition to inspecting for the presence of clubroot, the County is also monitoring clubroot spore dispersal through wind and dust movement and testing what clubroot pathotypes are present in the County. 
  • Positive clubroot samples are further analyzed to determine what pathotypes are present and if there is resistance breakdown in clubroot resistant varieties.
  • Our program is also featured in the Alberta Farmer and The Western Producer 


Check out the Enhanced Clubroot Surveillance video at:  


Blackleg is a disease of canola that can cause significant yeild loss in susceptible varietys. Blackleg is also know as stem canker and normally impacts plants later in the growing season.

Blackleg produces lesions that are dirty, white and normally dotted with small black spots and all parts of the plant. The best way to manage Blackleg is to use an intergrated approach:

  • Scout for the disease
  • Use proper crop rotations
  • Use resistant varieties and rotate varities
  • Use certified seed 
  • Control volenteer canola 

Fusarium Head Blight

 Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a fungal disease of cereal crops that affects kernel development. FHB has a wide host range that includes all small grain cereal crops (wheat, barley, oat, rye, triticale), corn and many wild and tame grass species. The most common cause of FHB is the fungus Fusarium graminearum.

Fusarium graminearum is no longer considered a pest under the Agricultural Pests Act and Regulation and the County encourages producers in the region to be aware of the disease and take necessary measures to prevent the establishment of Fusarium graminearum within the municipality. 

Fusarium Head Blight of Wheat | Crop Protection NetworkPrevention is better than cure with Fusarium Head Blight - Grain CentralManaging Fusarium head blight on wheat - MSU Extension