Optimizing the aerial release of trichogramma wasps to control the European corn borer in sweet corn destined for processing

Annabelle Firlej, researcher

Annabelle Firlej

Researcher

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Contact Annabelle Firlej

Description

The release of trichogramma wasps using tricho cards has been successfully employed in Québec to control the European corn borer in fresh sweet corn. Farmers growing sweet corn for processing also want to use trichogramma to control the insect, provided the release method is consistent with the technical and economic realities they face. In 2019 and 2020, four sites in the Montérégie region will be targeted for the experimental release of trichogramma by aerial spraying. A plane will be used to release a spray containing host eggs parasitized by trichogramma pupae over the test plots. In order to assess the presence of the European corn borer, a control plot (no trichogramma release) will be designated at each site as well. The research will involve monitoring the European corn borer population, as well as assessing the quality of trichogramma released and the crop damage. Lastly, an economic analysis of different European corn borer control strategies (aerial spraying of pesticides versus the use of trichocards) will be conducted.

Objective(s)

  • Assess the potential of using aerial spraying to optimize the release of trichogramma wasps in order to control the European corn borer over large areas of sweet corn (processing) crops in Québec.
  • Verify how effective the bulk aerial release of trichogramma is in reducing European corn borer damage to levels acceptable for food processing.
  • Promote the adoption of biological control methods for the European corn borer by advocating a more cost-effective approach that can be easily utilized by farmers over large crop areas.

From 2019 to 2021

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

Crop dusting to control insect pests will one day soon be replaced by the release of tiny insect pest enemies.

Partners

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec | Anatis Bioprotection | Bonduelle | Fédération québécoise des producteurs de fruits et légumes de transformation | Hélico Service

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