Funding for Clubroot Soil Sample Tests

Res #: 12-12A
Number: 12
Year: 2012
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

WHEREAS Clubroot has been found in north central Saskatchewan; and

WHEREAS soil sample testing is set at a cost of $100 per sample with recommendations of seven to ten samples per quarter being tested; and

WHEREAS farmers facing financial hardships due to testing fees may neglect to have soil tests conducted on their land to avoid fees; and

WHEREAS municipalities do not have money available to province funding for soil sample testing;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial and Federal Governments to provide funding for all costs that may be realized by municipalities to have soil sample tests conducted.

Response from Honourable Bob Bjornerud, Minister of Agriculture:

The Ministry is involved in a number of clubroot monitoring and management programs with the goal of reducing the risk of clubroot for Saskatchewan canola growers. The Saskatchewan Clubroot Initiative was formed in 2009 through Ministry efforts with members of the agriculture industry and other stakeholders and is responsible for the development of the Saskatchewan Clubroot Management Plan. The Ministry co-ordinates an annual provincial canola disease survey in Saskatchewan in collaboration with researchers and industry.

Clubroot monitoring is a part of this survey, which includes visual assessment of plants and collection of soil samples for clubroot DNA testing. RMs can also survey or soil test for clubroot, using their authority under The Pest Control Act. The Saskatchewan Clubroot Initiative recommends a number of practices in the Saskatchewan Clubroot Management Plan for prevention of clubroot in all canola-growing regions as well as management of clubroot in disease-confirmed fields. This includes recommendations related to the number and method of collecting samples for testing. Ministry staff can offer technical support to growers and RMs through extension on clubroot management, and training on how to sanitize, scout, and survey for clubroot.

Currently, the incidence of clubroot in Saskatchewan is low and the disease has not been found at economically significant levels. The Ministry will continue the annual survey and will likely increase soil testing for clubroot. In the two cases where clubroot was identified in 2011, Cargill Ltd. has offered to pay for the soil sample testing deemed necessary by the respective RMs.