Release of trichogramma wasps by drone, a new approach to the control of the European corn borer in processing sweet corn

Description

Part 1: Impact assessment of the duration of exposure to environmental conditions and predation of two cohorts of trichogramma released in bulk

Part 2: Evaluating two bulk trichogramma releases by drone
Four replicates of the three treatments in a randomized complete block design were established on 0.2 ha plots at least 150 m apart.

Part 3: On four farms, two of which are organic, the most effective release strategy based on the results of Part 2 were compared with an untreated control. Four replicates of the three treatments in a randomized complete block design were established on 3 ha plots (0.5 ha plots for the controls) at least 150 m apart. The following parameters were measured: trichogramma quality, number of male corn borers captured in the traps, number and GPS coordinates of corn borer eggs and sentinel eggs on the plants, trichogramma parasitism and emergence rates, and crop damage.

Part 4: Economic analysis comparing control strategies (insecticides, Trico cards, and trichogramma releases by drone)

Objective(s)

  • Evaluate the potential of using drones to optimize trichogramma releases against the European corn borer on processing sweet corn in Québec
  • Test the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of bulk aerial releases of trichogramma to bring European corn borer damage below acceptable thresholds for the food processing industry
  • Promote the use of biological control of the European corn borer by developing a trichogramma release strategy that eliminates the costly and time-consuming job of installing the Tricho cards

From 2016 to 2018

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

This project will encourage growers to adopt biological control methods to deal with the corn borer and, in doing so, lead to reduced pesticide use.

Partner

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec - Programme de développement sectoriel

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