October 30, 2012

Why Mid-American Uses Biopesticides

Tom Costamagna has a unique perspective on using biocontrols in ornamental crops. After starting his career in biologicals research at University of California-Davis, he joined Mid-American Growers as director of plant quality. We asked him why he’s committed to making bicontrols a significant part of Mid-American’s production process. GG: Why do you think biocontrols are a more realistic option for growers now? Costamagna: In the last five to eight years, the numbers of new chemistries being registered is few and far between, so we need new options. Also, you see the success stories with the influx of biologicals being used in vegetables. I think that’s a driving force as well. Most importantly, we’re moving forward on the learning curve. Whether it’s new genetics or new pest control tools, when you try anything new, in the beginning you’re going to have fewer success stories than failures. You see some of the […]

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September 18, 2012

Pesticide Recertification Credits Available At The Northeast Greenhouse Conference

Growers will have plenty of opportunity to learn valuable new information on pest and disease management while earning the pesticide credits needed to maintain their certification status at the 2012 Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo. A total of 11 one-hour presentations (credits vary by state) will be offered for the six New England states plus New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Presentations include: On Wednesday, November 7th: • Building a Biocontrol Ecology in Your Greenhouse, by Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting • Controlling Pests in Retail Greenhouses, by Leanne Pundt, University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension • Culturally Manage Diseases, by Margery Daughtrey and Nora Catlin, Cornell University • Scouting From a Practical View Point, by Alan Michael, The Pennsylvania State University (retired) • Biocontrol Hits and Misses: Learning From the Past for Future Success, by Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting On Thursday, November 8th: • Insect Growth Regulators: How to Effectively Use […]

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September 5, 2012

Case Study: Using The Wrong Biological Control Agent For Aphids

All aphid species are not the same when it comes to parasitoids. Watch this episode of FloriCAST for details on how parasitoids work and which parasitoids attack which species of aphids.

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August 27, 2012

Case Study: Tank-Mixing Problems

There’s so much information out there on tank mixing, but what are the advantages and factors to consider? Check out advice on tank mixing from Ray Cloyd in this episode of FloriCAST.

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August 2, 2012

Benefit From Beneficial Nematodes

With a variety of factors driving pest management changes in horticultural operations, many professionals are looking to expand their use of biological control agents (BCAs), including the use of beneficial nematodes. Growers find beneficial nematodes to be an attractive addition to existing pest management programs because they reduce or eliminate restricted-entry intervals, have limited impact to worker and customer safety, promote environmental stewardship and are valuable pesticide resistance and residue management tools. While great strides have been made in the development of effective beneficial nematodes over the past several years, there is still confusion among growers about these little worms. How do they work? Do they cause damage? How should I use beneficial nematodes in the greenhouse? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. How Beneficial Nematodes Work Beneficial nematodes, also known as entomopathogenic nematodes or insect-parasitic nematodes, are microscopic, un-segmented roundworms. They are naturally-occurring and […]

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July 27, 2012

Arm Your Poinsettias Against Key Insects

Whiteflies. To keep whitefly populations under control, drench the growing media with a neonicotinoid (MOA Group 4a) insecticide (e.g. Flagship), three to four weeks after planting (or after pinch). Before the neonicotinoid soil application, use products labeled for whitefly management, such as Avid, Endeavor, Scimitar GC, Talstar, Sanmite, Distance and Judo insecticides. If late-season control is needed, spray with Avid, Flagship, Talus or Tristar (only if a Group 4A was not drenched) insecticides using a spray adjuvant like CapSil. Thrips. Avid, Botanigard, Conserve, Mesurol, Tame/Orthene tank mix (or total release aerosol) and Overture insecticides are some of the products used successfully for thrips management. After bracts form, use Avid or Conserve. Fungus Gnats And Shore Flies. Good sanitation procedures are still the first line of defense for controlling fungus gnats and shore flies. Options for controlling fungus gnat larvae include Azatin XL, Citation, Distance, Duraguard ME, Gnatrol insecticides or beneficial […]

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June 26, 2012

Case Study: Improper pH Of Spray Solution

Have you checked the pH of your spray solution? It could be affecting the effectiveness of of your insecticides and miticides. Get all the details in this case study  from Ray Cloyd in this episode of FloriCAST.

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April 10, 2012

Impending Elimination Of IR-4 Threatens Floriculture Products

GG: What impact would the elimination of IR-4 have on chemical companies like BASF? Would it affect chemical companies’ ability to best serve floriculture? SL: The IR-4 program allows BASF to offer effective plant protection chemistries to so called ‘minor crop’ users. That means nursery, greenhouse and landscape managers have a wider arsenal of products to use for pest management. IR-4 funds expand the testing of our chemistries to other crops, on more pests and in additional markets. For BASF, that means we have more products to offer growers. Without the IR-4 program, we probably could not afford the extensive testing required to effectively bring all the products in our portfolio to market. GG: Would you envision chemical companies having to take on the responsibility of conducting the floriculture research that leads to product registrations themselves? SL: BASF could take on the task of testing, but doing so would result […]

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March 26, 2012

Improper Rotation of Pesticides

Listen in on a conversation between an Extension entomologist and a greenhouse producer when a thrips outbreak happens and scouting and spray applications aren’t working.

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March 15, 2012

Miller: Saving IR-4 Critical To Greenhouse Crop Protection

Think about the high-profile plant diseases growers are encountering these days – downy mildew on impatiens, boxwood blight – and what the consequences will be if you don’t have the appropriate products to protect those plants. Take gloxinias for example. “We’ve virtually stopped growing them because we couldn’t control the pests,” says Marvin Miller, market research manager at Ball Horticultural Company. “We couldn’t solve the tomato spotted wilt virus with it. Really, we’ve had a whole list of crops we’ve stopped growing because we couldn’t control pests.” If funding for the IR-4 Project is reduced or eliminated, as Pres. Barack Obama’s 2013 budget plan is currently designed, Miller suggests the list of crops growers no longer produce will grow longer. According to OFA, Congress currently provides about $15 million to IR-4, which was established in the 1960s to facilitate the registration of safe and effective crop protection products for specialty […]

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March 13, 2012

Adopt Biological Control Agents For Greenhouse Crop Production

Many greenhouse growers no longer rely exclusively on conventional pesticides to control pests. Most have increased their use of mechanical and biological control agent (BCA) methods. While pesticide resistance issues have driven much of this change in management philosophy, many growers are now discovering how well BCAs work and how to easily incorporate them into pest management programs. Many greenhouse growers have found that BCAs can be used to achieve commercially acceptable levels of control. However, a few remaining growers believe that BCAs are not practical to implement. The barriers that impede adoption of BCAs typically include the perception that they are less effective than their conventional pesticide counterparts and require special skills and knowledge for success. Performance barriers often can be addressed by implementing preventative use strategies and by fully adopting principles of integrated pest management (IPM) rather than as a direct replacement to conventional pesticides. Development of pest […]

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February 22, 2012

Improving Pesticides With Surfactants

What are surfactants and what do they do? Get a quick tutorial from Ray Cloyd on how surfactants can improve the performance of your pesticides.

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