Demo plots for low-risk apple IPM programs

Vincent Philion, researcher

Vincent Philion

Researcher, agr., M.Sc.

450 653-7368
ext 350

Contact Vincent Philion
Daniel Cormier, researcher

Daniel Cormier

Researcher, Ph.D.

450 653-7368
ext 360

Contact Daniel Cormier
Mikaël Larose, research assistant

Mikaël Larose

Research Assistant

450 653-7368
ext 341

Contact Mikaël Larose

Description

Apple growing requires annual pesticide sprays against insects, mites, diseases, weeds, etc. Many of the products used have major environmental impacts and/or are costly. Proven methods for detecting, monitoring, and controlling pests and thereby reducing these risks are used to varying degrees by growers. Wider use of these new approaches would reduce the ecological footprint of Québec agriculture. A demonstration plot will be run for four years in five of Québec’s biggest apple growing regions: Laurentides, Montérégie Est, Montérégie Ouest, Estrie, and Capitale-Nationale. On each site a low-risk pest management program will be compared to the farm’s current program. The low-risk program will consist of a set of techniques targeting the full range of apple pests, specifically apple maggots, the codling moths, fire blight, apple scab, spider mites, and weeds. Yield, monitoring, economic, and risk data will be collected and compared annually for both types of program on each site. Apple growers will be informed of the results through communiques from RAP (Réseau d’avertissements phytosanitaires), demo days, talks, videos, training sessions, and so on.

Objective(s)

  • The overall objective of the project is to inform apple growers via regional demonstration plots of the latest apple IPM techniques with a view to increasing the growers’ use of these methods and thereby reducing pesticide-related risks. The programs used in the demo plots will include preventive detection and monitoring and curative measures. The specific objectives are those specified in the call for projects:
    • Show that it is possible to use preventive methods to reduce pest pressure in Québec apple orchards
    • Demonstrate the importance of detection and monitoring methods in controlling apple pests
    • Show that it is possible reduce high-risk pesticide use by using products with low environmental and health risk indices
    • Gauge the economic value of the low-risk program compared to the program used by the grower
    • Raise awareness among industry stakeholders about the use of strategies to reduce pesticide use and associated risks
    • Help develop growers’ and consultants’ knowledge and expertise in this area
    • Inform as many Québec apple growers as possible of the project’s results

From 2018 to 2022

Project duration

Fruit production

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

These preventive methods to control apple pests will lead to reduced pesticide use, reducing the industry’s environmental footprint while signalling its innovative approach.

Partners

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec - Prime-Vert Programme | Producteurs de pommes du Québec | Technical support clubs

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