Aster Yellows

Aster Yellows is actually a bacterial disease that is spread by an insect carrying the bacteria. The Aster Leaf Hopper is a small insect that arrives in Western Canada upon winds blowing in from the US during early spring. They usually appear in small numbers and are not a significant problem in this area. However in 2012 we had an abnormal infestation in the County. The symptoms of the disease usually become visible at podding time and are very noticeable in canola crops. There are no effective control methods for the leaf hopper.

What To Look For

Adult Leaf Hopper Aster Yellows damage
Adult Leaf Hopper

Prevention

Because the Aster Leaf Hopper is small and hard to detect in the early stages of a crop, it's almost always missed when crop scouting. The few steps that can be taken to prevent or control this pest are mainly cultural:

  • Keep fields clean and weed free to eliminate establishment of host plants
  • Early seeded crops may be more mature and less attractive at the time Leaf Hoppers are most active and cause the most damage