The Province of British Columbia is using localized technology to gain intelligence on how insect populations impact tree-growing key regions.
Tree-fruit growers and their orchards will benefit from time-sensitive advice about pest management as BC-adapted software becomes available in the Kootenays, which will help stabilize the sector and strengthen the province’s food security, according to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
“Ensuring we have a strong tree-fruit sector that is resilient to climate change is important to our government, and we are working collaboratively to achieve this,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food.
The BC Decision Aid System has been used in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys to maximize the efficiency of pest-management practices and fruit production. Since 2018, DAS has collected daily forecasts from 20 weather stations in the Okanagan, an emerging technology entrepreneur hotspot.
Expanding BC DAS system to the Kootenay region will help create a more resilient and connected food system, and support the sector in becoming more competitive on the global stage, according to the Ministry.
“By expanding the use of this world-class technology, we are getting important information into the hands of Creston Valley growers, so they can continue to provide British Columbians with their delicious and high-quality tree fruit,” Popham added.
Five new provincially funded weather stations will collect and integrate data. Growers in the Creston area will be offered software training to help them adapt to using the system.
“The BC DAS system will be supporting valley farmers with effective pest-management technology so they can continue to be a key economic driver in the Kootenays and, of course, share their bounty with us,” stated Brittny Anderson, MLA for Nelson-Creston.
“We are excited to expand access to this technology to the Kootenays,” added Melissa Tesche, general manager of the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program. “Agritech systems like BC DAS can help our growers produce better fruit with fewer environmental impacts.”
Other agri-tech solutions, such as innovative vertical farming from CubicFarms, continue to advance BC’s already-strong food growing economy.