BSF – E.S. Cropconsult Ltd., Delta, BC
For my first co-op term, I worked as a field technician for E.S. Cropconsult. E.S. Cropconsult provides Integrated Pest Management (IPM) services for growers in the Fraser Valley. My duties are to drive around with my partner and monitor potato fields by taking systematic samples. At plant emergence, we crawl through the plants to inspect every stem and leaves. Once plants grow taller, they are sampled using a sweeping net. Throughout the entire growing season, we also scan for potato fungal and viral diseases, as well as weeds and abnormal growth patterns. The data we record is used to provide growers with weekly recommendations for a more effective application of pest control methods, keeping the pests under the economic threshold. In addition to potato monitoring, I also assist my supervisor’s cutworm research by collecting moths using pheromone traps. This experience has challenged me physically, but I really enjoy learning about insect identification, as well as seeing the beautiful landscape as I drive around.