Present in this province for almost a century, stripe rust is not new to Alberta cereal farmers. However, disease outbreaks have been increasing in frequency and severity, creating a push for research into better management of rust.
Barley was once a dominant crop on the Canadian Prairies, with farmers planting nearly 14 million acres of the golden grain in 1971. By 2017, however, the number fell to just under six million acres. Farmers, faced with depressed prices and slowly declining yields, have been switching to more profitable crops.