Why is this research important for Alberta ag?
Aphanomyces euteiches represents the single biggest threat to pea and lentil production in the Canadian prairies. Overall, 40-50% of pea and lentil fields surveyed were positive for aphanomyces euteiches from 2014 - 2019. This prevalence level increased to 70% in wet years, but was as low as 0-20% in lentils in dry years.
A modest estimate of 10% yield loss in 40% of pea and lentil fields affected by root rots results in an economic loss of at least $40M for Alberta producers based on current field pea and lentil production and prices. Calcium has been implicated as an important inhibitor of zoospore release, movement, and germination of encysted zoospores of many oomycete pathogens. In Sweden, the addition of calcium significantly reduced aphanomyces root rot.
What benefits can producers expect from this research?
This research will help further expand knowledge and management options for pea root rot:
Decision Support System: incorporate models on oospore survival into forecasting disease risk based on soil DNA quantification
Revise current rotation recommendations based on knowledge of oospore behaviour under soil environmental extremes commonly encountered on the Prairies
Further expansion of ineffectively models based on oospore thresholds combined with oospore survival curves
Field trials to evaluate agronomic practices that may be employed to reduce root rot severity
How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?
Trials will be performed in producer fields with high infestation levels. Results will set the stage for larger-scale field trials. Results will be shared regularly with stakeholders at extension meetings such as the Agronomy Research Update, pulse growers meetings, fields days, media articles, and scientific conferences.