The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a particularly challenging pest for the berry sector due to its high egg-laying potential and end-of-season population explosion (near harvest time). Insecticides have limited ability to reach the larvae, which are buried in the fruit. In Québec, the battle against SWD generally involves repeated and alternating applications of insecticides that are also toxic to pollinators and, in some cases, pose significant risks to human health and the environment. The release of sterile insects is a promising and environmentally friendly pest control measure that can lessen the deleterious effects of SWD on berry crops. Furthermore, the Québec association for strawberry and raspberry producers (APFFQ) supports the development of this method as a research priority for the strawberry and raspberry sectors.
To follow up on the developmental work begun in 2014, we will
From 2018 to 2021
Pest, weed, and disease control
This project will encourage growers to adopt biological control methods and lead to reduced pesticide use.
This project aims to reduce Japanese beetle populations using localized applications that minimize environmental and health risks
Researcher: Annabelle Firlej
Exclusion nets have proven to be effective against nearly all of these insect pests, which means that it’s possible to develop apple growing practices in Québec that are not only neonicotinoid free, but also devoid of all pesticides (including acaricides, given that mite problems are a consequence of broad-spectrum insecticide use). Although the net exclusion microsystem studied in Québec since 2012 has demonstrated its effectiveness in controlling insect pests, some issues remain to be studied before it can be unreservedly recommended. Among these are the handling times for the nets, i.e., installation/removal and opening/closing, and the system’s profitability and durability over the long haul for various cultivars.
Researcher: Gérald Chouinard
In a high density strawberry crop grown in sod covered with plastic mulch, evaluate the toxicity of bioinsecticides for controlling tarnished plant bugs and strawberry blossom beetles and of bioherbicides for controlling weeds in and between crop rows.
Researcher: Daniel Cormier