Farmers in Kelowna, B.C. Have Seen Dramatic Reduction in Pesticide Use
Apple orchard farmers in Kelowna, a lakeside community in the southern interior of British Columbia, have seen a 95% reduction in the amount of organophosphate pesticides used in the Okanagan Valley in the past 19 years due to the Sterile Insect Release program used to combat codling moth.
Entomologist Hugh Philip said the program “has had a considerable impact on the prevalence of codling moth”, and is responsible for a 74% reduction in pesticide use since the program began 19 years ago.
Strips containing a synthesized sex pheromone that mimics a mating attractant are put out in the orchard and confuse the moths so they are unable to mate and reproduce.
Organic orchardist Brian Mennell from Cawston noted that by reducing sprays, orchardists would find that they’d be permitting the survival of beneficial insects, some of which would help to keep pests in check without chemicals.
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