OREANDA-NEWS. September 28, 2016. The changing climate in the Okanagan has broad implications for agricultural pest control, including increasing populations of problem species, and the arrival of new pests in the region. A recently initiated project – adapting a successful pest management decision support tool, developed by Washington State University – will provide Okanagan tree fruit growers with an important new resource to improve orchard management.

Washington State University's Decision Aid System (DAS) is a web-based platform designed to transfer time-sensitive information on pest management to orchardists, using real-time, local weather data and scientific pest and disease management information to help predict and manage pests and diseases.

Developing resources to link weather, pest and disease data with decision support tools was identified as a priority action under the Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategy released earlier this summer by the British Columbia (B.C.) Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative. The regional strategy brought agricultural producers together with local governments and provincial agencies to identify collaborative solutions and actions to adapt to the climate change impacts identified for the Okanagan.


"Promoting sustainable agricultural practices are key priorities for the Government of Canada. We are proud to support the adaptation of pest management tools as part of the Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategy. These tools will strengthen the resilience of orchard growers in B.C., encourage climate-smart agriculture, and enhance the sector's sustainability and competitiveness."

- Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country

"The B.C. government is proud to support projects and technology that introduces or develops a better way of doing something, so B.C. farmers can increase their production and incomes. B.C. farmers are embracing agri-tech to help maximize productivity, minimize inputs and create greater value from B.C.'s farmland and coast."

- Norm Letnick, B.C. Agriculture Minister

"This is the Cadillac of pest management decision support systems: tried, tested, and loved by Washington growers because it saves them time and money and improves the efficacy of pest management. The benefits to the Okanagan will extend beyond the growers – being more precise with chemical applications helps to maintain beneficial insect populations, reduces environmental impacts, and makes life even more pleasant for the communities bordering the orchards."

- Melissa Tesche, Acting General Manager, Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program