Biosecurity and Reduction of Pest Movement Strategies for Producers

As Manitoba farmers grow more diverse crops and tighten rotations for economical gain, the chances of new pests being introduced or increasing pest levels in fields exists.

Fields infested with unknown pests may experience reduction in yield and seed quality. New pests, such as clubroot and soybean cyst nematode are long-lived and can be spread in soil being carried on field equipment.

Being aware of potential pest risks and making choices to use sustainable agricultural practices can help.  Extending crop rotations, cleaning your equipment and using genetic resistance where available are excellent ways to reduce pest movement and multiplication.

Prevention and early mitigation are the best tools, as there may be limited options available once a field has been heavily infested.

Best Management Practices and Recommendations for Producers

Learn more about new pests that have been found in Manitoba or are suspected to be a concern in the future:

  • Scout fields regularly and identify causes of wilting, stunting, yellowing and premature ripening.
  • Use varieties with genetic resistance in fields known to have pests.
  • Use longer crop rotations (3 plus years) between host crops to reduce disease severity and reduce other pests. Fields with confirmed diseases, should use resistant varieties and follow crop rotation practices of one host crop every four years.
  • Control volunteer crops and host weeds to reduce pest multiplication.
  • Clean and sanitize equipment, vehicles and machinery to restrict the movement of contaminated soil.
  • Implement soil conservation practices including minimizing tillage and using direct seeding, as spores can move with wind and soil erosion.
  • Minimize traffic in fields, especially during wet conditions. Discourage recreational vehicles from crossing land with signage, fencing and gates.
  • Avoid common untreated seed as earth tag may carry soil borne pests (ex: clubroot, verticillium wilt, soybean cyst nematode), and seed may be contaminated with weed seeds and other unknown diseases.


Cleaning Equipment

  • Transporting contaminated soil on field equipment poses the highest risk to introducing soil borne pests (ex: clubroot) into a field. Diligent cleaning and sanitation practices can reduce the risk of introducing pests to a clean field or moving spores from an infested field.
  • Kick, knock or scrape off soil and plant debris. Sweep off any loose soil.
  • Use pressure washer or compressed air to remove residual soil and debris.
  • Apply a disinfectant to sanitize the surface.

The Canola Council of Canada has additional information on equipment sanitation, which can be found at Clubroot Sanitation Guide (PDF 428 KB). 

Working with Others Accessing Your Land

Landowners can reduce the risk of pest spread to their land by communicating with others who are entering their land for various purposes (ex:oil and gas companies and their contractors, utility companies and municipal government workers). 

Biosecurity activities undertaken by these companies to reduce pest spread may include developing protocols for field staff and contractors, cleaning equipment and avoiding traffic during wet conditions.

Oil and gas companies are encouraged to prepare and follow biosecurity protocols for staff and contractors.  An example is the management objectives for clubroot management, outlined by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in the published Best Management Practices, which can be found at Clubroot Disease Management Best Management Practice.

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