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From Twitter

14 November 2022
Pest management
Project reports
In September 2021 we started the big field experiment in the Piedmont region, a highly infested zone. Giovanni Bosio from the plant health service of the Piedmont region found meadows which were not treated yet and with willing owners to let us do ex...
22 June 2022
Pest management
Project reports
In collaboration with colleagues from CREA (Florence), we have treated popillias with three experimental control protocols that appear as promising candidates in their hands. Treated popillias have been snap frozen for molecular analysis. In the next...
21 June 2022
Pest management
Definitely not my ususal workweek! I am an economist at the Technical University of Munich, usually sitting in an office with a computer and conducting research there. But not this time… As I am part of the IPM Popillia project, which consists o...
Mottalcia Picture by Mathias Hess

A day in the field

To continue with experiments in the lab, we needed more Japanese beetle larvae, a lot more. So we decided to go on a field trip on the 7th of December 2021.  

It was the first train of the day which took me to Agroscope where we headed off to Mottalciata, Piedmont region.

With two cars and seven people, we left freezing cold Switzerland in hopes to find some sunshine in Italy.

Sunrise in Ticino, time for breakfast and a cappuccino. The weather south of the alps already looked better and warmer.  

We arrived on the field at 10:45, Giovanni Bosio and his collegue Emanuela Giacometto from the phytosanitary service Regione Piemonte have already started in the field. In one hour they already found more than 50 larvae, despite the soil being very cold and compact.

Wearing multiple layers of clothes we too started digging. The weather was really nice and sunny, we could not have wished for a better day

By lunch time we had about half of the needed larvae, Giovanni and Emanuela had to leave us to attend other work. 

Here, a larva meets a unicorn. I let the larva live and ate the unicorn (could have been the other way round…)

The afternoons in the field are usually very funny, this time was no different. The Ph.D. girls Magdalena, Tanja and Noëmi were talking about some Greek mythology, I heard Gaia and something about her offspring. The guys Mathias and Timon found the best spot to dig and I have no idea what they were talking about because Giselher and I were too busy with a very serious larva digging contest on who would find more larvae per hole (sadly, he won).

We found the last larva at 15:15. Totally around 1600 larvae. The cooling boxes were closed and not to be opened until arrival and after packing up our things we started the journey back to the north. Arriving Agroscope shortly before 8pm, where the larvae were put directly into our quarantine lab. Now it's time to go home.

It's 21:27, seven more minutes and I am finally home. This was indeed a very long and exhausting day, but it was also very great and a lot of fun.  Hopefully the upcoming experiments will also be a success.

First prototype version of the IPM Popilla Citizen...
Planning for the IPM Popillia Citizen Science App

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 EU Flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861852