BC Minister of Agriculture
Blueberries damaged by Spotted Wing Drosophila
BC's valuable blueberry crop is at risk, due to the spread of the Spotted Wing Drosophila, or vinegar fly. The tiny fruit fly lays its eggs in the fruit, causing damage when the larvae hatch.
Will the 2014 Pacific Agriculture Show be able to top last year's record-breaking event?
Organizers say yes, based partly on an exciting program for the Horticulture Growers' Short Course, which will focus heavily on the berry market.
Mark Sweeney, a Berry Industry Specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, says a highlight will be a session on how growers in Michigan are dealing with the Spotted Wing Drosophila (Vinegar Fly).
Sweeney says BC had its worst ever year for damage from this relatively new pest. The SWD was first spotted in BC berry farms in 2009, but farmers were quick to react and generally kept it well under control.
In the last growing season, however, Fraser Valley growers saw a huge surge in crop losses, thanks to a mild winter and warm spring.
Michigan growers have had a longer experience in dealing with the vinegar fly, which originally came to North America from Asia. Dr. Rufus Isaacs of the University of Michigan will report on how growers there are battling the invasion.
This year, world class speakers are being brought in from far afield including the Netherlands, California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Ohio, Idaho, Utah, Illinois, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta to complement local experts and provide growers with the best leading-edge technical information to improve their horticulture operations.
Some of the highlights will be pathologist, Dr. Mary Hausbeck from Michigan State University to discuss increasingly challenging diseases of ornamentals and vegetables.
Back by popular demand, after a short absence, will be programs of interest to farm direct marketers and hazelnut growers. These new sessions will complement the tried and true programming dealing with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, greenhouse vegetables, field vegetables, potatoes, agroforestry, farm business management, organic production and food safety.
The Short Course will also be introducing a new session geared to the ornamental nursery industry.
For complete program details and registration information go to: