September 26, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

Complete Canadian News World

Many crops were lost, and one virus stood out

Many Quebec market gardeners had to leave their produce in the fields this year. They show symptoms of Cucumber mosaic virus infection.

Published at 8:00 am.

Frédéric-Xavier Duhamel

Frédéric-Xavier Duhamel

“Almost 75% of our cucumbers and our little zucchinis are gone,” sighed Vicky Vaillancourt from the homonymous farm in Laval. He estimates he’s lost about 40% of his other squash and almost 50% of his peppers.

“Right now, we’re losing money in those sectors,” he says, but the company will thrive thanks to its diversified crops and diverse sources of income. According to Mme Vaillancourt, along with many of its neighbors, suffered significant losses.

“Symptoms and damage associated with cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and potyviruses have been identified,” warns the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture (MAPAQ) in a notice issued at the end of August. Fields of cucumbers, squash, zucchini, pumpkins and melons were badly affected in Monterrey, Laval, Lanadier, Centre-du-Quebec and Capitole-National. »

“Crops of beans, peppers and ground cherries are also affected,” it says.

Photo by Hugo-Sébastien Aubert, The Press

The Vaillangarde farm suffered significant losses in its crops, probably due to the cucumber mosaic virus.

Mme Vaillangarde describes the symptoms as spots first on the leaves of plants, then on fruits and vegetables. These soften and no longer meet buyers’ aesthetic standards, he explains, and there is no cure to save infected plants.

Limited risks and known causes

However, damage varies depending on the plant’s growth stage at the time of infection, notes Catherine Lesart, director of economics, policy and research at the Association des Protectores Maritures du Québec (APMQ).

QPAM is not yet in a position to assess the extent of the damage, but has contacted all its members for this purpose. MAPAQ specifies that insured producers can file a notification of damage “as soon as possible” with the Financière agricole du Québec (FADQ).

According to Mme Small, insects are the source of this outbreak. “Aphids were high in soybeans and other crops this year,” he says.

We understand that aphids have moved from soybeans to market garden crops and have spread the virus.

Catherine Lessard, Director of Economics, Policy and Research at APMQ

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) researchers were also alerted by Quebec producers and are currently conducting analyzes to determine the exact causes of the losses. According to the AAFC’s Mamadou Lamine Fall, cucumber mosaic virus is the “best candidate” to explain the observed damage, but nothing has been confirmed by the federal department.