Clubroot – What can be done?
Clubroot is a persistent problem in the Prairies, and one that isn’t going away any time soon. AiM has been investigating methods of determining presence/absence for clubroot for environmental practitioners while working in the field. This will be a qualitative pre-screening method to immediately determine if the risk exists in certain soils. While AiM’s scientists still recommend sending the samples to an accredited laboratory for confirmation and enumeration, this will be a significant time management improvement and may help to decrease the number of steps that are required to de-soil equipment in the field.
AiM’s scientists have already conducted a study to determine what substance is most likely to kill the resting spores of the pathogen, which can persist for up to 20 years. This was done in conjunction with verifying the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s own study, and testing further solvents and surfactants, acids to prove sanitization efficacy. The most important part of this study was in trying to avoid contaminating the surrounding soil with a chemical that may hamper growth or lead to pathogenic changes in local invertebrates living within the soil column.
We can confirm that sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is indeed thus far the winner with respect to being able to kill almost 99 percent of resting spores. We tested multiple concentrations and 2 percent bleach is the optimum concentration that can be used, without risk of harm to future crops. We are still in the process of investigating other chemicals, and to continue to perform testing to validate accuracy and precision with respect to bench tests.
Stay tuned for further results of our studies!