Total Release Pesticide Application Saves Growers Time And Labor

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Modern total release (TR) technology – commonly known as aerosol foggers – is rooted in convenience. Nearly 70 years ago, when the U.S. government sought a more convenient way to spray malaria-carrying insects, researchers developed a compact aerosol can pressurized by gas. While that invention has evolved dramatically since, its user benefits, including ease of use, accurate application and time and labor savings, continue in today’s technology.

Total release pesticide delivery for greenhouses was brought to market in 1978 by Whitmire Micro-Gen, which licensed active ingredients from other manufacturers to develop TR products. These first-generation TR products required canisters the size of 20-pound propane tanks. Current TR micro-pro technology-based products, such as those from BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals, contain less propellant and broader-spectrum, more efficacious active ingredients. As a result, a 2-ounce and 6-ounce TR canister can now treat up to 3,000 and 4,500 square feet of greenhouse, respectively.

Total release makes it even easier to deliver the pesticides. Applying TR product involves three steps: locate, lock down and leave. Growers simply locate a place for the TR canister in their greenhouse; close all greenhouse vents, windows and doors; and depress the TR canister’s actuator until it locks down. Then the grower can leave the building and start their restricted entry interval (REI) clock. Clean up involves recycling any empty TR canisters.

In addition to saving time and labor, ready-to-use total release products reduce water use and ensure accurate product distribution. Total release products also eliminate mixing and the related risk of chemical spills, and they cut down maintenance and operating costs associated with expensive fogging equipment.

BASF currently offers nine total release products, including seven insecticides and two fungicides. For even greater control of greenhouse pests, including disease and insects, growers can space mix. This means setting off two products at once, such as Mozart fungicide and Beethoven Total Release miticide/insecticide.

Total release formulations control diseases including alternaria and botrytis and insects, such as aphids, thrips, whiteflies, scale, mealybugs, fungus gnats and spider mites. In addition to providing broad-spectrum control and prevention of diseases, total release formulations and related control will continue to expand. In 2012, BASF will introduce several well-known products, such as Pylon miticide-insecticide, Pageant fungicide and Trinity fungicide, in TR technology.

Three Steps To Use Total Release Technology

1. Locate

• Place canisters in walkways, on a bench or hang from trusses. Common practice is to place canisters on top of inverted empty pots.

• Remove any plants within three feet around the canister.

• If using multiple canisters, plan your application path in advance to avoid walking through the pesticide fog.

2. Lock Down

• Close all vents and sources of outside air.

• Turn off any flammable sources such as pilot lights.

• Run fans or fan jets for at least 15 minutes prior to application and then turn off just prior to application.

• Depress the actuator until it locks down.

3. Leave

• Leave the building, close the door and start your REI clock.

• Allow particles to circulate for a minimum of two to three hours for optimal control.

• Fans can turn back on after the cans have dispensed, as long as you follow the label for restricted entry interval & personal protective equipment requirements.

Contact your BASF sales representative today or visit for more information on total release technology.

Missi Koenig is a product manager for BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals. You can eMail her at

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