There was some great news this week for the spruce budworm research group at the Atlantic Forestry Centre in Fredericton. Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford was on hand to announce $4.8 million in infra-structure dollars for the centre, a portion of which will be allocated to refurbishing several labs for processing samples collected to monitor spruce budworm.
The lab will consist of a specialized laboratory to help us assess spruce budworm in the autumn as they lie dormant on branches for the winter. These branches need to be collected and ‘washed’ with chemicals to dislodge larvae from branches so that they may be counted. This lab will increase dramatically our capacity to monitor spruce budworm, which is of course the cornerstone to the Early Intervention Strategy being developed to slow the spread of the outbreak. The lab should be completed by October, stay tuned for pictures!