The following agenda is tentative and subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

9:30 am
Registration opens
10:00 am
Welcoming remarks
10:05 to 10:55 am
Diseases of Field Crop in Canada: Past, Present and Future
Presented by Dr. Bruce Gossen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Sponsored by SaskFlax

Dr. Bruce Gossen provides an overview of past, present and future field crop disease threats. The past component will focus on the 18-year cropping study at Scott, Sask. The present will focus on the rapid spread of clubroot on canola and Aphanomyces root rot on pulses in recent years. The future outlook will explore how new technologies, such as gene editing and marker-assisted selection for resistance, sequencing for pathogen identification and quantification, and drones, satellites and robotics for agronomy and pest management, will change how we manage diseases.
10:55 to 11:45 am
Advances in Breeding and Management of Fusarium Head Blight
Presented by Dr. Anita Brûlé-Babel, University of Manitoba
Sponsored by Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission

Dr. Anita Brûlé-Babel will provide an overview of Fusarium head blight (FHB) across the Prairies, highlight advances in breeding for FHB resistance, and offer strategies for managing the disease.
11:45 am – 12:05 pm
Coffee and networking break
12:05 to 12:55 pm
The Dynamics of the Pathogen Population and Cultivar Resistance for Blackleg Management in Western Canada
Presented by Dr. Gary Peng, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Sponsored by SaskCanola

In Western Canada, blackleg of canola was reasonably well controlled by use of resistant cultivars and extended crop rotation in most of the 1990s and 2000s, but the disease has increased noticeably in recent years. Although the majority of current canola cultivars appear resistant to blackleg, limited major resistance (R) genes have been found in commercial cultivars or breeding lines in Canada. Field monitoring since 2007 has found avirulence (Avr) genes corresponding to these R genes have declined while other Avr genes have increased – a finding with implications for the deployment of R genes for blackleg management. Many canola cultivars may also carry a level of background resistance that are not controlled by major R genes but can be substantially more resistant to blackleg than a susceptible cultivar such as “Westar.”

Dr. Gary Peng’s research aims to understand how this type of resistance works against blackleg and looks at the mechanisms of the resistance in relation to the infection process and blackleg development in the stem. His research has also assessed the use of fungicides for blackleg control, and revealed some intriguing observations on efficacy and canola yield. This presentation will highlight some of the research to outline key strategies for blackleg management in Western Canada.
12:55 – 2:00 pm
2:00 to 2:50 pm
War of the Titans: The Battle for Supremacy in Wheat-Fusarium Interactions, and Lessons from the Canola-Blackleg Playbook
Presented by Dr. Dilantha Fernando, University of Manitoba

With major impacts on crops across the Prairies, Fusarium and blackleg are two of the most problematic diseases facing Western Canadian producers. In the first part of his presentation, Dr. Dilantha Fernando will discuss new facets of Fusarium, including DON3G, the rapid increase of 3A-DON, and Nivalenol, a toxin more potent than DON.

When it comes to blackleg in canola, isolate profiles are changing rapidly across the globe. To stop this rapid increase of the virulent isolates, we need to understand how breakdown of resistance and emergence of virulent isolates occur. In the second half of his presentation, Dr. Fernando will present some novel methods of identifying resistance in canola, explore key pathogenicity genes in blackleg, and explain how cloning key resistance genes and avirulence genes offers a rapid method of identification for breeders and the seed industry.

Sponsored by Brett Young
2:50 to 3:40 pm
Aphanomyces and Fusarium Root Rots of Pulse Crops
Presented by Dr. Syama Chatterton, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Root rots of field pea and lentil causing wilting and death of mature plants have become a serious problem for pulse producers in recent years. Results of field surveys conducted over the past four years indicate Aphanomyces and Fusarium root rots are widespread in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but that pathogen composition and root rot risk differs between soil zones. Several research projects to understand disease development and potential management options have been initiated. These studies include host range testing of Fusarium spp. and Aphanomyces euteiches, developing infection curves for inoculum dose and disease development, and field trials to assess seed treatments, cultivar performance and soil amendments. Dr. Syama Chatterton will present results of field surveys and research trials, along with a discussion on weather and risk factors contributing to Aphanomyces and Fusarium root rots of pulse crops.

Sponsored by Valent and Nufarm
3:40 – 4:00 pm
Coffee and networking break
4:00 - 5:15 pm
Commercial research panel
Each of our panellists will share a 10-minute update on new findings coming down the research pipeline. The session will conclude with an interactive question and answer session driven by delegates.

  • Brandi Cowen, Top Crop Manager
  • Pat Flaten, Western Grains Research Foundation



  • Navratan Bahia, DuPont Pioneer – Sustainable approaches in canola: Using every tool in the toolbox
  • Graham Collier, Nufarm Canada – Aphanomyces protection measures
  • Rory Cranston, Bayer – White mould and pulse crop diseases
  • Glen Forster, BASF – Multiple fungicide applications
  • Zac Liban, DL Seeds (BrettYoung) – Sclerotinia and seed genetics
5:15 - 7:00 pm
Networking reception

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

8:00 am
Doors open
Buffet-style breakfast served
8:30 to 9:30 am
KEYNOTE: Disease Management: Lessons from Australasia and Europe
Presented by Nick Poole, FAR Australia
Sponsored by DuPont

Nick Poole will provide a global perspective on field crop disease issues, presenting on new cereal disease management developments in Australasia and Europe.
9:30 - 9:50 am
Coffee and networking break
9:50 - 10:40 am
Getting the Most out of Your Cereal Fungicide: A Western Canadian Perspective
Presented by Dr. Kelly Turkington, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Sponsored by Bayer

Dr. Kelly Turkington will present key factors – such as assessing risk and identifying the correct target – so farmers are able to get the most out of their cereal and canola fungicide applications and protect their crops against diseases such as Fusarium head blight, sclerotinia and various stem rots.
10:40 - 11:30 am
Healthy Seed, Healthy Start: The Importance of Seed Testing in Preventing Diseases of Pulse Crops
Presented by Dr. Mary Burrows, Montana State University
Sponsored by Saskatchewan Pulse Growers

Pulse crop acreage in Montana increased to more than one million acres in 2016. Many of those acres were planted to peas, lentils or chickpea for the first time. An important part of integrated pest management for any crop is to prevent the introduction of seedborne pathogens, especially those with long-lived survival structures. This is particularly important for organic crop production.

In 2015, the Regional Pulse Crop Diagnostic Lab tested seed submitted for nine fungal species. A particularly high incidence of Alternaria spp. was identified on pea. Pathogens including botrytis, sclerotinia, Fusarium, Stemphylium, and bacteria were commonly identified. Pathogens not widely described in pulse crops, including Diaporthe, were identified, as well as possible biocontrol organisms including Trichoderma and Aureobasidium.

Dr. Mary Burrows will describe how diagnostics, early detection and rapid response to plant diseases will help sustain the industry and provide priorities for education and extension activities.
11:30 am
Closing remarks
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