As our climate changes, weather patterns are expected to shift, which could significantly alter growing conditions and therefore the populations of insects, weeds, pathogens and invasive species across the Fraser Valley. These changes are likely to increase the complexity and challenges associated with pest management. In 2016, an inventory was created that documented pest-related activities in the Fraser Valley, as well as perceived pest threats across 30 agricultural commodities. The pest-related activities included research, outreach, monitoring, and surveillance, and resulted in a list of over 300 projects that have been conducted in the Fraser Valley over the past five years. In addition to this information, interviews were conducted with specialists, growers and producers to establish top priority pests or pests that were believed to be an increasing threat to each commodity. The additional analysis of the Fraser Valley Pest Assessment Inventory undertaken below is intended to assist in focusing activities and research to mitigate pest-related impacts on the agricultural community in this region. This initial assessment could provide a platform for a cohesive and coordinated approach to shared pest threats, and will inform a series of fact sheets that will improve the availability of relevant management information for Fraser Valley producers.
Click here for FACT SHEET PDF (with photos)
Western Corn Rootworm
- Detected for the first time in the Fraser Valley in 2016 and reached record levels in local corn fields during the 2017 season.
- Single most important factor contributing to economic loss and shifting management practices in corn growing regions in North America.
BC farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture are gearing up for the first phase of an intense battle with the invasive brown marmorated stink bug this year. Acheampong says new funding will be dedicated to putting up new traps in farms, to get an idea of just how far the stink bugs have spread into farmland. The pesky and sometimes smelly pests are a major concern for farmers throughout the US and Canada. A 2010 study found the insect caused $37 million in damage to the US apple industry alone, and since then the stink bugs have moved into southern Ontario, Prince Edward Island and now British Columbia. The stink bug also attacks and damages various tree fruits, berries, grapes, vegetables, corn and a variety of ornamental plants. The first sighting of the destructive Brown Marmorated species was in Penticton in 2016, but as of November last year most of the sightings of the insect have been in or around the City of Kelowna.
Use of Brassica Crops to Extend the Grazing Season - Cool-season perennial grass and grass-legume pastures typically become less productive as the grazing season advances from June to November. Forage brassica crops such as turnip, swede, rape, and kale can be spring-seeded to supplement the perennial cool-season pastures in August and September or summer-seeded to extend the grazing season in November and December. Brassicas are annual crops that are highly productive and digestible and can be grazed 80 to 150 days after seeding, depending on the species (see table on back page). In addition, crude protein levels are high, varying from 15 to 25 percent in the herbage and 8 to 15 percent in the roots, depending on the level of nitrogen fertilization and weather conditions.