Alberta is one of the most fertile regions in Canada, with a favorable cultivation climate and nutrient-filled agricultural land. Many of the plants grown in this region are vegetables, herbs and spices. These crops are sold to local farmers' markets and are used in foods, wholesale and even for medicinal purposes.
Phytoplasmas are pathogenic microorganisms that cause the disease known as aster yellows within plants. This deadly disease begins by turning the organs of the plant yellow or red immediately upon infection. The disease will spread through the plant into the flowers. Once it reaches the flowers, it sterilizes them and makes them unable to continue to produce seeds.
Blossom blight is an infectious disease that is caused by the sclerotinia sclerotiorum fungus. The infected plant begins to produce brown and black legions from the roots and up through the stem into the leaves. As the infection progresses, the plant's organs begin to rot and die off, leaving only the infected root behind. These plants must be removed and the soil sterilized to avoid furthering the infection between plants.
Areas that are consistently affected by high amounts of precipitation and moisture are commonly threatened by a fungus known as botrytis cinerea. This fungus invades the veins of the plant and spreads throughout the stems and other organs. It appears as a gray mold that grows on the plant's surface and carries many fungal parasites along with its growth. The fungus will not kill the plant, but it will destroy the reproductive process of the plant and affect productivity.
Threats to plants, such as insects and animals, carry infectious diseases along with them. Consider using pesticides to help fight the threats. Healthy plants are more immune to fungal diseases than crops that are suffering from dehydration, nutrient deficiency or other illnesses.
Many of the diseases that threaten Alberta, Canada, are without a cure. Since the climate is perfect for fungal infections, the easiest way to stop the destruction of crops is through prevention. Plant crops at least 3 feet away from one another to help stop the spread of spores. Avoid over-watering plants or misusing fertilizers, as both of these conditions greatly increase the risk of fungal infection. Carefully watch all plants for the first sign of disease, and remove infected crops as soon as possible, sterilizing the soil with fungicide afterward.