Early season infection of blackleg in canola can occur, especially when the crop has been wounded by hail, wind, frost, or insect feeding.

The question on growers minds is whether or not to use a fungicide at the herbicide timing to protect their crop from blackleg infection.

Holly Derksen, plant pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture, says there are a number of factors to consider.

Below is a list included in the province's most recent disease update:

- What is your rotation? A field with tight rotation (2-year or less) is also higher risk for blackleg infection
- Have you seen yield loss from blackleg in the past?
- Has the environment been conducive for infection? The release of ascospores from overwintering bodies is favoured following a rainfall and when temperatures range from 16 to 20°c.
- Is your crop worth it? How bad is the insect damage, do you want to be investing more money in this particular field?

Derksen says it always comes down to the level of risk an individual grower is willing to take.