Tuesday, 2 June 2015

This Week at the Farm (June 1, 2015)

Hi, my name is Andras and I'm the final summer Co-op student, from UBC, to arrive at the IPM Program here at Beaverlodge.  I got off to a bit of a late start and had catching up to do given all the studies the IPM program runs.

The first study I worked on was the Red Clover Casebearer Parasitoid Rearing study. The purpose of this study is to build our knowledge of the species that are parasitoids of the red clover casebearer moth. We check the collected casebearer pupae daily for emerged parasitoids, moths, and diseased larvae, and emerged moths or wasps are promptly recorded and the specimens preserved for future analysis.  A preserved parasitoid wasp can be seen in the image below:  

The next assignment was the IPM program's contribution to the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.  Traps specifically targeting flea beetles and diamondback moths were set up at sites in the region to acquire data on insect pest population levels.  By collecting the traps weekly, and immediately analyzing them for the species of interest, changes in the insect populations are closely monitored and that information is used to support growers' pest management strategies.

But in the coming weeks, even more studies will pick up again for the summer; just to name a few:
  • Lygus Caging Study - determining whether established economic thresholds for Lygus are applicable on newer hybrid canola varieties
  • Annual Canola Surveys - early-mid flowering stage sweep-net surveys to obtain information on regional insect biodiversity, population levels of all pests, and to monitor for cabbage seedpod weevil range expansion from the south
  • Lygus Parasitoid Study - obtaining a better understanding of the insect species that parasitize nymph and adult Lygus bugs, the parasitoid species diversity, and the rate of parasitization
It is not surprising that there is so much to learn given the scope of the IPM program's studies, but the other co-op students and staff have been very helpful and supportive in my first week so far. We're going to do some great work this summer.

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