Impact of Sclerotinia stem rot on yield of canola

L. E. Del Río, C. A. Bradley, R. A. Henson, G. J. Endres, B. K. Hanson, K. McKay, M. Halvorson, P. M. Porter, D. G. Le Gare, H. A. Lamey

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79 Scopus citations


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is the causal agent of Sclerotinia stem rot (SSR) of canola (Brassica napus). In North Dakota, the leading canola producer in the United States, SSR is an endemic disease. In order to estimate the impact of this disease on canola yield, field experiments were conducted from 2000 to 2004 at several locations in North Dakota and Minnesota. Experimental plots were either inoculated with laboratory-produced ascospores or infected by naturally occurring inoculum in commercial fields. Applying fungicides at different concentrations and timings during the flowering period created epiphytotics of diverse intensities. Disease incidence was measured once prior to harvesting the crop on 50 to 100 plants per plot. Results of the study indicated that 0.5% of the potential yield (equivalent to 12.75 kg/ha) was lost for every unit percentage of SSR incidence (range of 0.18 to 0.96%). Considering the current cost of fungicide applications and the market value of this commodity, a 17% SSR incidence could cause losses similar to the cost of a fungicide application. Additional efforts are required to improve current levels of tolerance of canola plants to this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-194
Number of pages4
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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