Forestry and Agrifoods
Besides 1991, 2012 is the only other time in the last 35 years that no control operations have been conducted for a major forest pest in Newfoundland and Labrador. This was due to a continued decline in hemlock looper (HL) populations observed and reported by Lavigne in 2011. In addition to no detectable defoliation in 2011, the pheromone trapping and fall forecast (egg) survey results also indicated that HL populations were at low levels.
Although pest survey results for balsam fir sawfly (BFS) detected and forecasted moderate to severe defoliation on the Connaigre Peninsula, most of the areas affected were primarily coastal scrub forest. These stands were sufficiently isolated to reduce the likelihood of spread of this insect to other forested areas of higher value - for these reasons no control was needed for BFS.
Spruce budworm (SBW) populations were forecast to remain active in the Goose Bay area in 2012; however, aerial defoliation results in 2011 indicated a reduction in the area of moderate to severe (M-S) defoliation with trees recovering in many areas. Excluding three sites, the majority of locations were also forecast to have nil to low populations and suggested a continued decline in SBW populations - for these reasons no control for SBW was needed.