The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is a particularly challenging pest for berry growers 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 inside 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. In organic crops it is possible to utilize up to three treatments of Entrust, but there is a risk of resistance developing. To reduce the phytosanitary impact of drosophila in berry crops, IRDA proposes to assess the complementarity of commercial predators. The three selected predators (Orius insidiosius, Chrysoperla carnea and Dicyphus hesperus) have demonstrated their effectiveness in eating spotted wing drosophila eggs in laboratory studies. Three treatments involving the release of predators in combination will be compared to a control group in a randomized complete block design tested in an organic day-neutral strawberry crop. Fruit infestations and saleable fruit percentages will be assessed and compared for each treatment.
From 2020 to 2022
Pest, weed, and disease control, Organic farming
This project will allow us to learn more about the effectiveness of various predator combinations in controlling spotted wing drosophilia.
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec
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
Project studying ways to maximize workforce productivity in strawberry production.
Researcher: Luc Belzile
Project initiated to review the knowledge on the fungicide resistance of various pathogens to provide a preliminary assessment of the economic impacts of fungicide resistance.
Researcher: Luc Belzile