Agricultural Pest Monitoring

Project lead: Dennis Chiu, Martina Clausen
PIEE Lab Members associated with this project: Matthew Mitchell, Melody Fu

Monitoring and forecasting pest populations in an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system can lead to successful programs that can suppress pests effectively, economically and in an environmentally sound manner. For this project, E.S. CropConsult, a company that provides IPM services to berry and crop growers in the Fraser Valley, is collaborating with the PIEE lab to analyze 30 years’ worth of pest monitoring data collected from blueberry farms located in Delta, British Columbia.
With such a large dataset available, we seek to explore various ecological topics and questions relevant to agriculture in this region. At this early stage we are focussing on the following questions 1) How has the occurrence of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) with its consequence of intense spraying schedules affect the survival of other insects? 2) How does the surrounding landscape influence insect communities in growers’ blueberry fields?

To help answer these questions we are applying landscape analysis using geographic information system (GIS) mapping and data-information matching. 

The main objective is to gain insight into the factors that influence population dynamics of pests and beneficial organisms in agricultural fields over-time. Our analysis will help us detect pest and beneficial organism population trends, and the changes in pest community composition.  With new pest species being recorded, such as the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) which is native to Southeast Asia, it is of particular interest to investigate how these invasive species impact pest and beneficial organisms and their management. As this project matures, more interesting and insightful questions can be investigated.

Keywords: Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Data and landscape analysis, Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)