Exploring further possibilities and advancements of using bio-control entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) for the management of insect pests in Alberta

Project Details

Status: Active
Investment: $70,000
Commodity: Multiple Crops
Organization: Olds College
Investigator: Shabeg Briar

Canola yield losses of 30-50% have been recorded due to maggot damage.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

The below-ground pest cabbage root maggot feeds on small fibrous roots and tunnels into stems and fleshy roots of cruciferous crops. Heavy maggot infestations in canola can halt blooming, restrict water movement, and cause severe lodging and and yield losses. Root maggot feeding damage provides entry points for root rot fungi, causing further stress on the plant. Canola yield losses of 30-50% have been recorded due to maggot damage.

The Canola Council identified root maggots as one of the three major factors that increases the risk of canola yield loss. Similarly, other below-ground pests such as a number of cutworm species, cause significant damage to canola and peas. There is a need for the development of alternative methods to manage below-ground insect pests.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

This project aims to equip producers have a control option for multiple soil-dwelling stages of pest insects such as root feeding larvae of maggots and subterranean cutworm species. Benefits of developing effective foliar-applied EPN preparations is compatibility with existing equipment and practices, and may become an important component of IPM strategies in the future.

This project will help in the development of affordable, environmentally-friendly and economical management tools to add to IPM programs for insect pest management in the Canadian Prairies.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Results will be disseminated in popular press articles and other agricultural related websites and will also be presented at various meetings and workshops.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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