Full Name
Kelly Turkington
Job Title
Research Scientist
Farm Name / Company
AAFC - Lacombe
Speaker Bio
Kelly was born at Humboldt, Saskatchewan and raised mainly in Saskatoon, but spent most of his summers on his father's small grain farm near St. Brieux, Sask. Since November 1996 he has been a plant pathologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), in Lacombe, Alberta. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture in Agricultural Biology from the College of Agriculture University of Saskatchewan in 1985, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology from the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan in 1988 and 1991, respectively. Kelly’s graduate work focused on the epidemiology of sclerotinia stem rot of canola and the potential of using petal testing as an indicator of disease risk and fungicide need.

Kelly’s main focus at Lacombe is on diseases of barley, wheat and canola as part of collaborative studies with colleagues across Canada. Through his father Tom, his graduate student supervisor Robin Morrall, and his interactions with farmers, industry and extension staff, and research colleagues, Kelly has developed a passion for the development of practical solutions for effective disease management. He is currently involved with research related to the development and use of plant resistance for disease control in cereals, improving in-field management tools for fusarium head blight and leaf spots in wheat and barley, and plant disease surveillance and risk assessment.

Over the last 26 years Kelly has been involved in multiple projects related to the use of seed treatments and fungicide timings for barley and winter wheat leaf spot management, the use of intercropping, barley variety mixtures and variety rotation to manage leaf disease risk in silage production systems, and the impact of conventional versus zero tillage on crop productivity and pest management. As a post-doctoral fellow in the early 1990s at the Eastern Cereals and Oilseeds Research Centre, in Ottawa he was part of a project investigating the impact of tillage and crop rotation on fusarium head blight of wheat and ear rot of corn. At Lacombe, Kelly continued his work on fusarium head blight with projects related to monitoring for Fusarium graminearum in cereals, grasses and corn, as well as investigating chemotype shifts in the pathogen in the 2000’s. In addition, his research has looked at the development of risk management strategies for fusarium head blight in relation to infected seed and feed as well as forecasting the potential distribution and severity of F. graminearum over the prairie region under dryland and irrigated production scenarios.
Kelly Turkington