Development of integrated insect pest management program for fruit orchards incorporating the bioinsecticide Quassia

Project Code BPR15-020

Project Lead

Julia Reekie  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Objective

To demonstrate the incorporation of the bioinsecticide Quassia™ into integrated pest management systems in orchards

Insect pests in apple orchards are a major threat to sustainable fruit production. The recent appearance of invasive pest species accompanied by increased pest outbreaks, have added to this problem. With some conventional pest control products under scrutiny or being phased out, there is an urgent need for integrated pest management programs that incorporate safe and effective alternatives to control insect pests in orchards.

The biopesticide Quassia™ was identified by growers as a biopesticide priority for Pesticide Risk Reduction Program (PRRP) regulatory support, having already shown promise in the sustainable management of insect pests in orchards. Quassia™ is a bioinsecticide derived from the wood of Quassia amara and Picrasma excelsa, plant species in the Simaroubaceae family also known as bitterwood. The PRRP is working with the registrant of this product towards a regulatory submission for first time registration in Canada.

This project will complement the PRRP’s regulatory efforts by demonstrating to growers the use of Quassia™ as an IPM tool for the management of selected early season apple insect pests. In particular, the focus of this project will be on developing optimized protocols for application timing, rate and frequency based on degree-day accumulations and insect life cycle (European apple sawfly, rosy apple aphid and obliquebanded leafroller). The IPM approaches using Quassia™ will be compared to currently-used pest management practices at orchard sites in Nova Scotia and Ontario.

The outcome of this project will be of relevance for both organic and conventional orchard systems.

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