The Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust (DFWT), together with the University of British Columbia, are researching the impact of planted hedgerows, grassland set-asides and floral strips on beneficial insects and pests, and how the insect populations impact blueberry crops. With funding provided by the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program, they will evaluate farm management practices on commercial blueberry fields to improve pollination services from native pollinators and pest control from naturally occurring anthropod predators.
“The ultimate goal of the project is to promote the preservation and planting of natural habitats on farmland to improve crop yields and profitability while also increasing biodiversity,” said Drew Bondar from the DFWT. “As the climate continues to change, developing more resilient agricultural systems is becoming more important. Increasing on-farm biodiversity through planting hedgerows, grassland set-asides and floral strips is one measure for increasing agricultural resiliency and reducing reliance on costly external inputs.”
The project will evaluate how restoring portions of agricultural land with semi-natural or natural habitat can support populations of beneficial versus pest insects in the region. Additionally, the study will focus on how alterations of these populations can impact blueberry crop yields and profitability for growers throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.“It is our hope that this research will contribute to addressing some of the barriers that prevent growers from incorporating natural habitats into their agricultural operations,” said Bondar.
For more information, visit https://deltafarmland.ca/new-insect-research-project-with-ubc/.
Funding for this project has been provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, under the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program. The program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC