Development and demonstration of integrated management practices for Colorado potato beetle in organic potato

Project Code BPR16-011

Project Lead

Tristan Jobin   Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Objective

To help organic potato growers diversify their toolbox with additional tools and integrated solutions to control Colorado potato beetle

The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is a serious threat to potato crops across Canada, especially in organic production. Several insecticides used for CPB control in conventional potato crops cannot be used in organic production, where control options are very limited. Moreover, CPB populations are developing resistance to spinosad, the only insecticide available for use in organic potato production in Canada. The new bio-insecticide BioCeres® was identified by stakeholders as an additional CPB control product needed for organic production and this became a priority for Pesticide Risk Reduction Program regulatory support in 2015.

BioCeres®, a microbial insecticide based on entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana strain ANT-03 is approved for organic production and has shown promise for the sustainable management of CPB. However, there is a need to further elucidate how this product can be best used in combination with other currently used approaches in an integrated management program suitable for CPB control in commercial organic potato production in Canada.

This 2-year field project initiated in spring 2017 aims to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) system for CPB, incorporating BioCeres® with other pest management tools and practices. Trials are being conducted in field sites in Quebec and Nova Scotia. The project will also validate the performance of newly developed IPM protocols in comparison with commercial standard practices. Addition of this new tool and integrated approaches may help growers slow down pest resistance build up while maintaining viability of the organic sector.

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