Cariboo Workshop on Agricultural Pests was a Great Success

April 30, 2019 Williams Lake, BC. A workshop addressing priority pests and invasive species threatening agriculture in the Cariboo was held on April 16th, 2019. Hosted by the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) and supported by the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative, Agricultural Pests: Practical tools for producers provided much needed information and practical tools for producers.

Discussing the top 3 invasive plants to the Cariboo-Chilcotin in the face of climate change.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin is home to a variety of landscapes, and a diverse range of producers are found in the region. As the climate changes, the effects of invasive species and pests in the Cariboo is expected to become more prevalent and this has been identified as a key threat to the industry. To help the region’s agricultural industry better respond to pest impacts, tools for identification, effective treatment and monitoring was called for.

Norm Dueck, of Heartland Soil & Crop Solutions Inc., explaining how soil nutrient deficiencies can be identified in plants in the field 

“We hope that producers were equipped with integral tools to create healthy landscapes, identify and respond to invasive species and pests such as grasshoppers, that threaten crop and hay yields,” says Gail Wallin, Executive Director of ISCBC.  “A key component of the day included a hands-on identification session.”

Over 30 attendees participated in the day long workshop. Highlights included soil health, youth in agriculture, the top 3 invasive plants and emerging pests in the face of climate change. Grasshoppers and weeds of concern to crops were also hot topics. Producers had a chance to practice hands on identification of invasive and priority pests at interactive stations manned by a variety of experts.

Identifying priority pests through preserved samples with Susanna Acheampong, an expert entomologist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture

“It was a day well spent with a good range of expert presenters. I learned how identify and treat Hoary Alyssum, a problem bordering our ranch,” explains Steve Roberts of Roberts Ranching.

This free workshop took place in Williams Lake  andwas provided through funding from the Invasive Species Council of BC and the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

A thank you is extended to the producers that took time out of their busy schedules to attend and to the presenters that donated their time and expertise, including the BC 4-H Ambassador, Ministry of Agriculture, Heartland Soil & Crop Solutions Inc., BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative and the Cariboo Regional District.

Presenters (back left to right): Jacinta Meir, BC 4-H Ambassador; Norm Dueck, Heartland Soil & Crop Solutions Inc.; Dave Ralph, Invasive Species Council of BC; (front left to right) Emily Sonntag, Cariboo Regional District; Susanna Acheampong, Ministry of Agriculture; Samantha Charlton, BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative.

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