Now that clubroot is becoming more of an issue in the province some farmers are looking for other cropping options for this year.

In Saskatchewan, visible symptoms of clubroot have been confirmed in 43 commercial canola fields and the clubroot pathogen was confirmed in soil samples from an additional three fields that did not have visible clubroot symptoms. 

Canola has often been considered a cash crop for producers and as a result, some producers started tightening up or pushing their canola rotation which increases disease potential.

Sherrie Roberts is a Crop Extension Specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture and says farmers need to recognize the importance of crop rotations especially with Canola and sunflower is a viable option.

“The main thing to remember if you’re going to put sunflowers into your rotation is the location of your fields. You really don’t want to put them in an area where you have a lot of small sloughs or areas where your blackbirds might congregate as they are subject to wildlife damage.”

One advantage with sunflowers is that it’s one of the last crops to harvest and can even be harvested in December or January.

While still small in acreage to other crops, we are starting to see sunflowers grown throughout Saskatchewan, with marketing opportunities for the seed within the Province and the U-S.

In the past seed availability and varieties have impacted sunflower production in the province but new options are becoming available.

The Saskatchewan Sunflower Committee is holding its Annual Meeting on Thursday (January 10) at the SCIC Building in Regina.

Producers will have a chance to learn more about the crop, agronomy, research and variety trials that are taking place.

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