Friday, 8 September 2017

Field sanitation protocol in place to continue to manage clubroot and other soil-borne diseases

We are updating you on a new situation: Clubroot was confirmed in August 2017 within the Peace River region (in Big Lakes County). Refer to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's website for more information on clubroot. 

The IPM Program has, since 2004, used booties and sterilized field equipment using bleach and ethyl alcohol but we have now updated and implemented increased our sanitation methods for every field as of August 31, 2017:

* AAFC Staff continue to operate marked vehicles when visiting fields to identify ourselves.
* AAFC Vehicles continue to park on the road OR on pull-ins – we NEVER drive into a field!
* NEW -  We will reduce field work on rainy days to avoid tracking mud.
* NEW – We are using Virkon (2%), a disinfectant tested and routinely used by Albertan pathologists to manage clubroot, to sanitize both AT and BETWEEN each field.
* NEW – Rubber boots are worn and sterilized using Virkon both AT and BETWEEN each field.
* Disposable booties are worn over sterilized rubber boots prior to exiting the vehicle.
* All booties are bagged then sterilized using an autoclave.
* NEW – Vehicle tires, wheels, and wheel-wells are sanitized using Virkon both AT and BETWEEN each field.
* Any equipment in contact with the soil (eg trowels, soil samplers) is sanitized using Virkon following usage.
* All field equipment (e.g., spades, trowels, soil core samplers) are soaked in Virkon after use in each field.
* NEW – We are purchasing multiples of our equipment to allow for soaking in Virkon and/or sterilization using an autoclave.
* NEW – AAFC vehicles will be washed intermittently at commercial car washes to prevent introduction of clubroot onto our research field plots at Beaverlodge AB.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns!  If you wish to personally see our sanitization efforts in action, please let us know so we can arrange it!  You can reach us by e-mail at or

We appreciate the value of all agricultural fields and thank our growers for allowing us to conduct  research in their fields. We appreciate their ongoing support and commitment to pest management.  We also want the agricultural industry to be aware and confident that we continue to do our utmost to ensure every field is protected now and for the future.