Large-scale use of trichogramma wasps against the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) in fresh and processing sweet corn

Annabelle Firlej, researcher

Annabelle Firlej

Researcher

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Contact Annabelle Firlej

Description

The European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis is the main pest of fresh and processing sweet corn in Québec. For the past 20 years, producers have used biological control to protect their sweet corn against the borer. According to a well-defined protocol (number of wasps per hectare, number and location of releases), cards carrying trichogramma eggs are installed on the corn plants during the pest’s egg laying period. The goal of this project is to boost to 200 the number of fresh and processing sweet corn producers in Québec using trichogramma to control European corn borer. Wider adoption of this biocontrol method in Québec will limit pesticide sprays against the European corn borer and thus help protect the environment and human health and reduce the associated risks.

Objective(s)

  • Promote the use of trichogramma wasps as a biocontrol for the European corn borer on fresh and processing sweet corn crops in Québec
  • Increase the number of Québec fresh and processing sweet corn farms using trichogramma wasps to control the European corn borer and/or double the area on which this method is used (currently 520 ha and 280 ha for fresh and processing sweet corn, respectively, Dupuis, pers. comm.) to a total of 1,600 ha
  • Reduce the use of insecticides in fresh and processing sweet corn crops
  • Reduce environmental and health risk indices

From 2017 to 2019

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

This technology transfer project will lead to a significant reduction in the number of insecticide spray applications needed to control the corn borer across Québec.

Partners

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec | Para-Bio | Fédération québécoise des producteurs de fruits et légumes de transformation | Lassonde Specialties | Bonduelle Canada | Anatis Bioprotection

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