FIRST AIRED: February 22, 2018

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00:00:01
>> Swirling hypnotic dishes and masked technicians who perform plant surgery with tweezers. It's all part of a high stakes effort to control the biggest threat to Canada's most profitable crop, canola plants. Des Monsanto Lab, one of many scrambling to create seeds resistant to clubroot. A disease that swells the plant's roots, chokes off nutrients and stunts the growth of it's valuable seeds.
00:00:28
Reuters reporter Rod Nickel visited the lab in Winnipeg.>> Clubroot is particularly unique in that it's pores can actually stay in the soil for up to 20 years, so it's a problem that doesn't go away very easily at all. And it spreads extremely easily by wind, water, machinery going from one field to another, even a farmer's boots.
00:00:49
>> Clubroot first emerged in Western Canada in the early 2000s. By 2009, Monsanto, as well as rivals Dow DuPont and Bayer AG Had created a clubroot resisting canola seed thinking they had it beat.>> The problem is that within three or four years, clubroot started to win the battle again and started to show up in even some of those fields.
00:01:11
So all three companies have gone back to the drawing board.>> Canola accounts for one third of Monsanto's annual Canadian revenue. Its seeds are crushed to create oil for french fries, potato chips and salad dressings. Monsanto hopes to have a new disease-resistant canola seed on the market in two to four years.
00:01:29
But exports worry that sooner or later, the pathogen will find another way around it.