Spray Areas for Blackheaded Budworm Identified

first_imgTwenty areas located in the Cape Breton Highlands have been identified for a proposed spray trial to determine the effectiveness of a biological control product on the blackheaded budworm. Large concentrations of the insect were discovered in the forest last summer. The blackheaded budworm can cause damage comparable to that caused by the spruce budworm in the 1970s and 1980s. Recovery costs following that outbreak totalled almost $38 million. The proposed spray trial is one part of a broader research program, which the Department of Natural Resources has contracted to the Canadian Forest Service. The trial will determine the effectiveness of the biological control product Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk) against the blackheaded budworm. Btk is currently registered for use in Nova Scotia in the forestry and agriculture industries against other defoliating insects. Btk is used by organic farmers. The research program will also: A maximum of 5,000 hectares will be sprayed as part of the trial. Canadian Forest Service scientists expect to conduct the spray trial from mid-June to mid-July, contingent on weather conditions, the developmental stage of the insect, and approval by the Department of Environment and Labour. A map of the proposed spray areas is available for review at Natural Resources offices in Cape Breton, Antigonish, and Guysborough. Additional information, including the map, is available on the department’s website at www.gov.ns.ca/natr/protection/ipm/sheets/ipmbhbworm.htm . develop a monitoring tool to be used as an early-warning system; study the effect of natural predators and diseases on the insect; study the impact of the defoliation on forest stands; use the other research to develop forest management tools for the future.last_img

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