Getting to the (Club)Root of the Problem: ICW2018

By Laura Wiens
Laura at Clubroot
Photo Credit: Jay Whetter, Communications Manager, Canola Council of Canada

In my role as editor at Suckerpunch, I’ve developed a strong interest in Canadian agriculture and I’ve had many great opportunities to learn more about it. One of my favourites so far was last week, when I went to Edmonton to join researchers and industry members at the International Clubroot Workshop (ICW18).

Clubroot Closeup
Clubroot Closeup

As I settled in for presentations on Wednesday morning, I quickly learned that Canada is far from alone in the fight against this disease of canola and other brassica crops. Leading experts from China, Germany, Poland and the UK presented their research, and shared how clubroot has impacted their country’s growers, historically and up in present day.

Visiting the Crop Diversification Centre (CDC) North was a big highlight of the event. As we toured this applied research facility, we explored test plots, greenhouses and lab facilities.

After taking precautions, including a bleach wash for our shoes and plastic booties to avoid taking clubroot home with us, we heard from University of Alberta grad students, professors and other experts, and got up close with clubroot-infected plants in the field.

The best way to learn is hands-on, and I am so happy I got the chance to jumpstart my clubroot education at ICW18. Thank you to the Canola Council of Canada and all organizers for putting together such an excellent event!


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