The Biocontrols USA West Conference & Expo, which is organized by Meister Media Worldwide (parent company of Greenhouse Grower) in conjunction with the Biological Products Industry Alliance, kicks off in just over a week. The event offers real-world success stories that can help you make biocontrols a really useful tool in your integrated pest management programs, as well as regulatory and market developments that are encouraging or requiring more use of biocontrols.
Whether you are already signed up to attend the event, or planning to arrive and register on site, here are eight things you need to know before you make your way to the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA, from March 7-9.
1. Even if you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late to do so. Just click here to register today, or there will be on-site registration available.
2. A number of educational sessions will be of interest to ornamental producers, including a look at recent research on the benefits of applying foliar calcium to improve host resistance of flower crops to Botrytis infection; a review of the major components of thrips IPM programs, and how they fit into greenhouse production systems; and a session that features tips on promoting the how and why of using biocontrols in your operation.
3. Want to dig into the basics of biocontrols for controlled environment production? Growers at any stage, from beginner to expert, can learn the basics or get a refresher course on effective sanitation, banker plants, and buying and using beneficials and predatory insects during the Protected Production and Biocontrol Track for ornamentals, greenhouse vegetables, and cannabis producers.
4. There’s more to the event than just the conference sessions. There are still a few open spots for the Biocontrols Basics in Cannabis Production Workshop, a half-day workshop in which Suzanne Wainwright-Evans of Buglady Consulting and Kelly Vance of Beneficial Insectary will lay out the basics cannabis cultivators need to understand. A pre-conference field tour of local ornamental and produce production operations and research facilities is already sold out. Watch for highlights from the tour after the event.
5. While several of the educational tracks have a crop-specific focus, there are a few that cover a broad range of specialty crops, including updates on new biocontrol products and tips on using the right application equipment with biocontrol products on March 8 and a look at biostimulants and how they might work for you on March 9.
6. Nearly 50 biocontrol suppliers will be on hand in the exhibit hall, providing an interactive forum for leading biocontrol companies from around the world to showcase products to growers and crop protection influencers in the U.S. specialty agriculture market.
7. Attending the conference presents the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Credits for Pest Control Advisers, Certified Crop Advisers, and other state certification programs.
8. Whether you are attending Biocontrols West USA Conference & Expo or not, be sure to keep up with what’s happening at the event by following the Biocontrols Conference on Twitter and using the hashtag #BiocontrolsWest.