Many landowners and MFS personnel trekked to Quebec City Feb. 19-20 to participate in the CFS/MRNQ Spruce Budworm Conference. Two days of research and operations presentations were informative to the group and provide a better understanding of the possible outbreak scenarios that we may encounter in Maine this time around.
It appears that Quebec will be trying to harvest threatened stands along with targeting aerial applications of Bt to protect stands from severe defoliation. In New Brunswick, which just received $18 million to tackle budworm, it appears a more aggressive intervention of insecticide applications to kill budworm larva before populations can multiply will be tried.
Maine has a small window of time before we think the budworm will invade (1-2 years) so we can continue to benefit from the research conducted by our Canadian neighbors. The Maine Budworm task force will present its current report on the Maine budworm strategy at the New England Regional Council on Forest Engineering (NERCOFE) meeting on March 10 at the University of Maine and at a meeting of the Keeping Maine’s Forest Committee on March 14.