Green Cleaning Chemistries For The Greenhouse

The horticultural and aquatic industries are riddled with exposure to hard and soft chemistries, yet there is a lingering misconception of “green chemistry” or “soft chemicals.” Many people disregard the dangers of “hard chemicals” and falsely claim that they are cheaper and more effective.

It is common for greenhouses to use chlorine and acids to clean and lower the pH, even though this practice can be unsafe. Tyson Foods Inc. found this out the hard way last year, after chlorine was accidentally mixed with a drum of acid used for disinfecting. This released a chlorine gas into part of the plant’s fresh chicken processing area, causing 173 workers to seek medical treatment for respiratory problems. Long-term consequences are also a threat, as the Medical College of Wisconsin research team has found an association between chlorine and cancer. 

An Alternative To Chlorine Clean

The alternatives to chlorine are peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen dioxide. These active ingredients are found in BioSafe Systems’ ZeroTol 2.0, TerraClean 5.0, and SaniDate 12.0. Peracetic acid and hydrogen dioxide are routinely used to sanitize food and beverage plants, agricultural premises, wineries and breweries, greenhouse facilities and equipment and animal housing. Peracetic acid is also approved for use on fruits and vegetables, and on meat, poultry and seafood products.

PAA is safer and more effective than chlorine on diseases for ornamentals, such as phytophthora, rhizoctonia and pythium. When PAA and H2O2 dissociate, PAA turns back into water and oxygen, leaving no harmful residuals behind. In fact, the added oxygen and water increase plant vigor.

Pathogen Resistance And PAA

Pathogen mutation is another large problem that must be considered. Most fungicides and bactericides are geared towards selecting specific pathogens. If 12% of a targeted pathogen survives a round of spraying, most will be resistant to the next round of spraying. Over a period of 5 to 10 years, this can yield a very strong pathogen. Most people understand this and spray on a rotational basis. Unfortunately, most rotations are still toxic chemicals.

Hydrogen dioxide and PAA, however, attack the pathogens on contact, giving them no time to develop a resistance. ZeroTol 2.0 and TerraClean 5.0 can be used in a tank mixing program to reduce harsh chemical residue and alleviate pathogen mutation. Economical use rates also ensure that PAA and hydrogen dioxide are cheaper than harsher chemical alternatives.

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...
Cicada (Greg Hoover, Penn State)

April 26, 2016

Cicadas Set To Emerge In Several Eastern States This Spring

While there’s no immediate cause for alarm, experts say the cicada’s egg-laying process can damage woody ornamentals and make them vulnerable to diseases.

Read More
Parisitic Wasp Aphidius colemani

April 25, 2016

Plant Growth Regulator Use Can Affect Biological Pest Control

The use of plant growth regulators may negatively influence the outcome of biological control programs, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

Read More
Beneficial Insectary Orius insidiosus

April 22, 2016

Beneficial Insectary Increasing Production Of Three Biocontrol Tools For Ornamental Growers

The company is now producing Orius insidiosus, Dalotia coriaria, and Dicyphus hesperus at its California facility, reducing the transit time of perishable biocontrols between producer and grower.

Read More
Latest Stories
Cicada (Greg Hoover, Penn State)

April 26, 2016

Cicadas Set To Emerge In Several Eastern States This Sp…

While there’s no immediate cause for alarm, experts say the cicada’s egg-laying process can damage woody ornamentals and make them vulnerable to diseases.

Read More
Parisitic Wasp Aphidius colemani

April 25, 2016

Plant Growth Regulator Use Can Affect Biological Pest C…

The use of plant growth regulators may negatively influence the outcome of biological control programs, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

Read More
Beneficial Insectary Orius insidiosus

April 22, 2016

Beneficial Insectary Increasing Production Of Three Bio…

The company is now producing Orius insidiosus, Dalotia coriaria, and Dicyphus hesperus at its California facility, reducing the transit time of perishable biocontrols between producer and grower.

Read More

April 21, 2016

Michigan State University Offers Tips On Greenhouse Soi…

Improper pH and higher than adequate nutrient levels are among the many reasons for regular soil testing.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

April 18, 2016

4 Things You Need To Know About Implementing Biological…

Biocontrols are useful alternatives to traditional pesticides that provide effective pest control in the greenhouse. Here are four ways to get started successfully.

Read More
John Wendorf Bayer Ornamentals

April 14, 2016

Bayer’s New Ornamentals Business Manager Aims To Help G…

John Wendorf, who previously managed BFG Supply’s grower division, says when Bayer launches into the ornamentals market this November, growers will have access to a wealth of resources, including a dedicated team focused on ornamentals growers.

Read More
Emerald Ash Borer

March 22, 2016

Canada Implements New Voluntary Biosecurity Standard Fo…

The voluntary standard is designed to protect the greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture industries from invasive plant pests.

Read More

March 22, 2016

EPA Approves Syngenta’s Mainspring GNL Insecticide For …

Featuring the active ingredient cyantraniliprole, Mainspring GNL provides broad-spectrum control of key pests, such as thrips, whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars, leafminers, and leaf-feeding beetles.

Read More
Black Root Rot on Vinca

March 15, 2016

How To Identify Different Root Rots In The Greenhouse

Root rots can cause similar symptoms on hosts. Here are some tips for scouting in your greenhouse.

Read More
One symptom of Botrytis blight is gray, fuzzy sporulation on foliage and flowers, similar to that shown on the flower of this hibiscus

March 11, 2016

Manage Botrytis With These Cultural And Fungicide Contr…

High relative humidity and low temperatures in the greenhouse open the way for Botrytis to develop on plants. A mix of cultural and fungicide control options will help you manage this common disease effectively.

Read More
Biocontrols and beneficials absolutely can be used in outdoor production, with the use of banker plant systems

March 8, 2016

France-Based InVivo Acquiring Bioline, Syngenta’s Bioco…

Bioline, a subsidiary of Syngenta, specializes in the production and marketing of biological control agents, and in particular macroorganisms active against insect pests in fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Read More

March 5, 2016

Prevent The Spread Of Disease In Irrigation Water

Water-mold pathogens cause significant crop losses and reduce floriculture crop quality. Take measures in your greenhouse to prevent the spread of diseases like Phytophthora and Pythium.

Read More
Bayer Greenhouse Ribbon Cutting

March 1, 2016

Bayer Opens New Greenhouse Research Facility In West Sa…

The $12 million facility will feature two new high-tech greenhouses that will be used in the development of new solutions in vegetable seeds and biologicals.

Read More

February 20, 2016

Hydrogel Technology Means Growers And Their Customers C…

Water and nutrient management are critical elements for quality plant production in the greenhouse. Maintaining the right amounts of available moisture and fertilizer at all times can be pretty labor intensive, but there are tools available to help you keep these inputs at optimum levels as efficiently as possible. Recently, we visited Evonik Industries’ North Carolina production plant for to see how one of these products — Stockosorb — is made, how it works, and learn the benefits of incorporating these tools in your own operation. Learn more about Evonik Industries’ Stockosorb hydrogel product on the Stockosorb website.  

Read More

February 17, 2016

Why It’s Important To Stay One Step Ahead Of Thri…

Keep thrips populations in check and avoid pesticide resistance by using spray and drench products known for their effectiveness.

Read More
Rose-Rosette-Knockout-May-2013-A-Windham_featured

February 16, 2016

University Of Florida Researchers Join Multi-State Batt…

The collaborative effort to stem off the threat of rose rosette involves early detection and the development of new compounds to help plants defend themselves.

Read More

February 12, 2016

Managing Air Temperatures For Basil Growth And Develop…

Iowa State University researchers determine if increases in air temperatures can increase growth and shorten production times for basil.

Read More

February 12, 2016

AmericanHort Applauds USDA Announcement Of Almost $60 M…

The funding from the 2014 Farm Bill will be used to cover projects such as plant certification, clean stock for high-value crops, and invasive insects and diseases.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]