The consumer demand for organic produce is increasing. In order for growers to be able to meet this demand, effective non-chemical tools need to be available for pest management. In BC in particular there is an increase in the production of organic cole crops, hence an urgent need to develop organic integrated pest management (IPM) systems that emphasize biological, cultural and other non-chemical methods (for insect and disease management). Among the main insect pests for cole crop production in the Pacific Northwest are root maggots (Delia radicum), aphids, flea beetles, thrips, and several lepidopteran pests. The root maggots are especially harmful when cabbage seedlings are small and cannot sustain loss of root tissue.
The initial set of objectives stated in the proposal submitted in January, 2000 were as follows:
1. To determine the species composition, phenology and levels of parasitism activity of native rove beetles (Aleochara sp.) in southern British Columbia.
2. To determine vegetative and field management techniques (e.g. beetle banks, grass margins and hedgerows) that enhance native rove beetle populations.
3. To compare the efficacy of native Aleochara populations versus innoculative releases of mass-reared A. bilineata in controlling D. radicum in the early season.