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Integrated management of cyclamen mite in field strawberries

Project Code: PRR18-040

Project Lead

Justin Renkema - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


To help growers augment their toolbox with reduced-risk options for cyclamen mite management in strawberry crops

The cyclamen mite (Phytonemus pallidus) can significantly affect strawberry production in Canada. High infestation levels can cause distortion, wrinkling and irregular folding of leaves, stunting of plants, necrosis of flower petals, and bronzing of ripening fruit, thus resulting in significant yield reduction and economic losses for strawberry growers. This pest was identified as a priority issue by a stakeholder working group participating in Pesticide Risk Reduction’s Insect pests of berry crops strategy. This strategy addresses growers’ needs for effective pest management tools and solutions to protect their crops, particularly in light of the loss of key pesticide uses (for example diazinon and endosulfan) due to regulatory re-evaluation. Many growers currently rely on repeat applications of the miticide abamectin; therefore there is a need for additional control options.

This 2 year project starting in fall 2018 aims to assess the efficacy of various control approaches, including pre-plant sanitation measures using steam heat treatments of strawberry transplants and a number of reduced-risk products, such as entomopathogens, plant-derived crop oils, and biopesticides, as pre-plant or in-field treatments. An additional study will compare the distribution and phenology of cyclamen mite in relation to strawberry phenology and management practices in Ontario, where it is an established pest, and in Saskatchewan, where it is an emerging pest. Laboratory and field trials will be conducted in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research and Development Centres of Vineland, in Ontario and Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan. Project results will be disseminated to growers, provincial specialists and scientific communities across strawberry growing regions of Canada. Adoption of promising approaches resulting from this project may help growers minimize reliance on and use of pesticides in berry crops while effectively protecting yields.

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