Biocontrol Track for Greenhouse Growers Reveals New Production Techniques and Marketing Ideas

Biocontrols-West-Promo-ImageGreenhouse growers attending the Biocontrols West USA Conference in San Diego March 7-9 will learn practical, hands-on production practices based on new research findings, and hear from an energetic grower who is enthusiastic about taking her customers along with her on her biocontrols journey.

The Greenhouse Ornamentals and Biocontrol Track at the Biocontrols West USA Conference will feature three sessions packed with information that growers can take home and apply to their operations immediately.

In the first session, “Biological Control-based IPM of Thrips – A Systems Approach,” Dr. Rose Buitenhuis of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland, Ontario, will present a new approach to effective, reliable, and economical thrips management using biological control. Driven by pesticide resistance and the demand for sustainable production, many growers have made the switch to biocontrols. With new findings from American Floral Endowment-funded research, Buitenhuis will show how growers can improve crop resistance and change production practices and the greenhouse environment to reduce the development of pests, through a systems approach to thrips IPM.

Next, Dr. Jim Faust of Clemson University in Clemson, SC, will present new research funded by the American Floral Endowment in “Botrytis Management and Biocontrol.” Faust’s findings show that over-reliance on chemical fungicides has created spore populations with a high rate of fungicide resistance to Botrytis, which is one of the biggest disease issues greenhouse growers face in their operations each year. Faust will demonstrate the benefits of foliar calcium application to improve host resistance of flower crops to Botrytis infection. His data shows how calcium is frequently more effective than the best fungicides on the market, and his suggested practices have been rapidly implemented at commercial greenhouses over the past two years, due to their high degree of effectiveness and relatively low cost.

Amblyseius cucumerisThe final session, “Bug Your Customer – Harness the Powerful Biocontrols Message to Build Your Brand,” by Nadine Stielow of Thiel’s Greenhouses in Edmonton, Alberta, will provide tips on promoting the how and why of using biocontrols in your operation. Stielow’s seasonal ornamental greenhouse focuses on a strong IPM program using biocontrol as a first line of defense. This message is prevalent in both her company’s new fresh greens hydroponic venture and in the day-to-day business culture. She’ll walk growers through her journey to ensure top-of-mind consumer awareness of the unique benefits of using biological control to produce your plants, and offer real-world advice on how to share your operation’s unique IPM story on social media and beyond.

Greenhouse growers will also benefit from the Protected Production and Biocontrol Track, focusing on biocontrols basics in sanitation, effective banker plant systems, and buying and using high-quality beneficials and predatory insects. There’s also a session on greenhouse application equipment, information on new biocontrols products for your greenhouse, and a retail panel on what growers will need to do to meet continued marketplace demand for sustainable production.

Register today to join Meister Media Worldwide for the Biocontrols USA West Conference in sunny San Diego to learn from the top minds in the biocontrols game, and get ahead of your competition.

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