Climate change is affecting the timing of pests and disease emergence during the growing season, and the tree fruit industry in the Okanagan valley in British Columbia, Canada wanted a tool that provides time-sensitive decision management support. The successful Washington State Decision Aid System (DAS) was adapted to the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada in 2018. Known as BC DAS, this exciting expansion into a new region was made possible through the cooperation of the Canadian fruit growing industry in the Okanagan valley and local project partners including the Okanagan-Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR), BC Tree Fruits, BC Fruit Grower’s Association, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Summerland Research and Development Centre and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR) is covering ongoing annual costs relating to BC DAS, and the tool is now available free of charge to Okanagan tree fruit growers. WSU is excited to be partnering with the Canadian tree fruit industry.
Initial project funding to support the development, testing and launch of BC DAS has been provided in part by the Sterile Insect Release Program (SIR) and in part by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The project was identified as a priority agricultural adaptation project in the Okanagan Adaptation Strategies (2016) and by the Okanagan Adaptation Working Group through a program delivered by the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative.