Surveys are valuable tools to quantify disease problems, increase awareness and initiate appropriate management strategies or take proactive measures in order to minimize or reduce producer’s losses. The information collected and reported from a project can alert extension personnel, grower organizations, industry and researchers to any new emerging pest issues in a crop such as Brown Root Rot and new races of Aphanomyces in alfalfa to name a few. This provides a valuable “heads-up” to potential disease problems and allows stakeholders the necessary time to develop management strategies hopefully before they become a problem.
During the course of this project we were able to survey forage fields in order to determine the incidence, distribution and severity of many common diseases of commercial alfalfa fields in Ontario. We used traditional field sampling, processing and mycological culturing to determine the fungal distribution in fields with typical alfalfa yellowing symptoms as well as evaluated new generation molecular techniques to determine applicability.