Benchmarking Beneficial Insects in Alberta

Client Objective

Understanding of the role and value of beneficial insects as part of an integrated pest management plan is still a relatively underutilized agricultural practice in Western Canada.

Our client had three primary objectives in mind when they approached us to conduct this study:

  1. Develop a benchmark and understanding of current insect pest management in Alberta.
  2. Determine the level of awareness and familiarity of beneficial insects.
  3. Evaluate use of beneficial insects as part of current pest management practices and understand current attitudes towards beneficial insects.

Our Approach

  • Over 350 farmers across Alberta were surveyed using an online survey.
  • Questions were asked about general insect management practices (including scouting), insect presence and insecticide use.
  • In addition, we asked about familiarity of beneficial insects and current management practices in use that benefit beneficials.
  • Observations and key findings were provided to the client and included data cuts by geography, farm size and crops grown.

The Results

The study clearly illustrated:

  • Where growers are accessing information for insect pest management.
  • How many growers are scouting for insects and what methods are they using.
  • How growers are making decisions about pest management on their farm.
  • Level of familiarity with beneficial insects and the awareness of the effect of beneficials on the farm.
  • The level of influence and consideration of beneficial insects on insect pest management in Alberta.

Our client was able to use this information to establish a baseline of current insect pest management practices among Alberta growers and determine what is known about the role of beneficial insects.