Blackleg was confirmed last month in northern Idaho canola fields, says KayDee Gilkey of the Northwest Ag Information Network.

Infestations have ranged from 1% of the plants to 30-40% of the plants. Washington State University Outreach and Extension Specialist for Oilseed, Karen Sowers tells canola growers it is critical to scout their fields for Blackleg.

“Definitely get out in the field, and it's not necessarily just the crop in the field, it's weeds — brassica weeds like mustard," Sowers says. "If they see something they can ask their field consultant, or send a sample in to WSU or the University of Idaho.

"We have the crop rotation in place now that should prevent most of this from happening. There is resistant varieties of canola to be planted. The big thing is to buy certified blackleg-free seed. And also have a seed treatment applied to the seed. But crop rotation is a big one.”

Sowers says that if Blackleg lesions are discovered in a field that an application of fungicide will help the plants that are not infected from becoming infected.

If growers have any cover crops, Sowers says they need to be scouting. Some cocktail mixes of covers contain brassica species that aren't as heavily regulated in terms of certification as growers might find with a straight canola crop or camelina crop.

"So even if they have cover crops they need to get out there in the fields if there is any brassica in the mix," Sowers says.