Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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2016 Regional Award Winner

Tigchelaar Berry Farms Inc.

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MPP Jim Bradley and Matthew Tigchelaar

MPP Jim Bradley and Matthew Tigchelaar

When thrips infested Matthew Tigchelaar's strawberry crop and the insects became resistant to traditional pesticides, he turned to biological pest control - a greenhouse practice not typically used in open fields. He worked with a biological control company to develop a plan to manage the thrips using mites and insects. Planting ornamental peppers and alyssum around the strawberry fields created a home for these natural predators, and in just two years he beat the thrips back to manageable levels. The victory has boosted Tigchelaar's berry harvest and proved that using beneficial insects for pest management is indeed possible for outdoor crops.


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