Insect control earns nod

The Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release program has been nominated for an integrated pest management achievement award

The Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release program has been nominated for an integrated pest management achievement award.

The winner will be announced at the International IPM Symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah March 23 to 26.

The OKSIR program has been controlling codling moths in the apple and pear growing areas of the Okanagan and Similkameen areas for more than 20 years.

“It’s an honour to be formally recognized by the international integrated pest management community,” said Cara Nelson, general manager.

“Our whole valley can be proud of the OKSIR program — not just for the amount of pesticides kept out of the environment because the program is in place, but also for the support it provides for our fruit growers, who are important to our local economy and our Okanagan way of life.”

Since the beginning of the program, the amount of pesticides used against codling moth has been reduced by 96 per cent. Many orchardists in the valley have not had to spray their trees for codling moth for the last 15 years.

If a chemical spray is required, most growers need only use a single well-timed application, instead of the three or more they needed prior to the program’s implementation.