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Precision Agriculture: Development of Novel Tools for Crop Protection
The two-spotted spider mite (TSSM), Tetranychus urticae, is a global pest that feeds on more than 150 crops including soybean. In Ontario, it is an established pest on many greenhouse, horticultural and field crops. Integrated pest management (IPM) for TSSM involves monitoring the population and applying insecticides when thresholds are reached. TSSM pest pressure is especially high in dry years. With climate change, the TSSM pest pressure is expected to increase, predicting the need for the effective pesticide control of TSSM. Our pilot analysis identified mite resistance to many pesticides in most field TSSM populations tested, which correlates with pesticide inefficiency reported by farmers. To extend the useful life of the existing pesticides, we are developing TSSM pesticide resistance management tool. Because not all TSSM infestations are resistant to all pesticides, this tool will help growers to avoid pesticides that are unlikely to be effective and, in turn, will reduce crop losses. We are also paving the way for the development of new and different types of pesticides – an RNAi-based biopesticides.

Feb 1, 2021 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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