Evaluation of Thrips Damage to Potatoes in a Changing Climate
|Project Lead||E.S. Cropconsult Ltd.|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, BC Potato and Vegetable Growers’ Association, E.S. Cropconsult, Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association|
|Other Partners||Agassiz Research Station, cooperating growers, Douglas College, agricultural suppliers|
Potatoes are an important crop in BC and their production requires management of many pests, including thrips. The Fraser Valley is expected to have hotter and drier summer conditions and milder winters. Thrips multiply in hot, dry weather and milder winters may also increase winter survival rates. Currently, there are no economic thresholds established for growers for managing thrips outbreaks. In addition to a lack of management tools, little information is available about how thrips impact potato production and subsequent profit.
Working with 16 producer cooperators who grow seed, organic and conventional potatoes, this project will assess: how potato yields are affected by thrips at varying crop stages, local thrips transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus, and the varietal preferences of thrips (all in relation to measured growing season weather conditions). The project also includes extensive knowledge transfer through direct participation of 16-20 growers, presentations at the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association short course and/or the BC Potato and Vegetable Growers’ Annual General Meeting, a fact sheet and poster widely distributed to BC Potato Growers, and articles in Modern Agriculture and/or Country Life in BC. This will better prepare growers to manage this pest through changing climate conditions.