September 21, 2023 R&D Committee Meeting

Dr. Sepideh Adabi, Kwantlen Polytechnic University - Cutting the Threat: Sustainable Cutworm Management through Biological Control Tools

Climbing cutworms damage grape buds, reducing yields, and impacting wine quality. Full-field sprays are used to mitigate patchy damage, but the risks of pesticide resistance or registration loss are present. Unfortunately, currently, there are no registered bioinsecticides available for organic vineyards in BC to control cutworms. Since 2016, the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture (ISH) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), in partnership with AAFC, has studied native entomopathogens, specifically Beauveria bassiana isolates. Other biological control agents, including entomopathogenic nematodes, baculoviruses, Metarhizium, and parasitoid wasps (Trichogramma) have also been investigated. By incorporating biocontrol tools with diverse modes of action and targeting different life stages of the host, sustainable cutworm population management is achieved, reducing pesticide usage and combating resistance. The project's data and results will expedite the development of effective microbial bioinsecticides for controlling cutworms and addressing existing gaps, while also providing support to growers in managing cutworm populations in a sustainable manner. The presentation will provide an overview of these outcomes

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