Q-Biotype: What Does It Mean?

A new study shows growers may be keeping a watchful eye on the Q-biotype situation, but many have treatment practices in place that may inadvertently encourage resistance, not fight it.

The Q-2006 study was a collaboration of key industry organizations: OFA–an Association of Floriculture Professionals, Society of America Florists (SAF), American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA), Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA), USDA’s IR-4 and Valent Professional Products.

“There’s a lot of talk, and frankly, some fear-driven confusion in the industry about Q-biotype,” says Dr. Joe Chamberlin, field market development specialist with Valent. “Some growers are worrying too much; some may not be taking it seriously enough. The study collaborators saw this survey as a great opportunity to understand what is going on in growers’ minds, and help get the smartest scouting, testing and treatment practices in place to address Q-biotype and overall resistance.”

Dr. Lance Osborne, University of Florida and co-leader of the industry’s Q-biotype Task Force, and Jim Bethke, University of California-Riverside, reviewed the study results and offered recommendations to growers at an OFA Short Course meeting in July.

“Many results were as we expected,” Osborne says. “Overall, growers are doing a good job in managing their operation against resistance. But several trends emerged that showed us there are still everyday practices that could be improved.”

Manage Q, Manage Resistance

According to the Q-2006 study, more than 85 percent of respondents claimed they were “somewhat” or “very” concerned about Q-biotype. Though researchers want growers to pay attention to the Q-biotype issue, many see its emergence as an example of the greater resistance management issue facing the industry.

“Today we have a Q that is manageable, but if growers don’t put resistance management at the center of their treatment program, we could be dealing with a more resistant Q tomorrow, or even a different and more resistant biotype,” Bethke says. “Growers shouldn’t panic or be overly concerned. Just pay close attention to unusual outbreaks and know where to go for information and which resources are best equipped to help your operation.”

Researchers encourage growers to stay up-to-date on any news about the Q-biotype through trade journals and Web sites dedicated to the issue.

Scout And Test Today To Keep Problems Away

Scouting for unusual outbreaks can help growers improve their resistance management practices without significant change to their operation or costs.

More than 80 percent of respondents said they scout for whiteflies at least weekly (54 percent weekly, 28 percent daily)–a practice applauded by both researchers.

“A good weekly scouting should be manageable within most operations,” Osborne says. “Most whitefly populations do not develop significantly over the course of seven days, which allows you to keep a good handle on emerging pests.”

The researchers were concerned, however, with the nearly 20 percent of growers who stretch their scouting efforts beyond the one-week mark. He encourages scouts to stay dedicated to their tasks and to check at least weekly for whitefly activity.

And both researchers agree: the best scout is well trained–often by university Extension programs–and in contact with the plants daily. When scouting for whiteflies, trainers encourage scouts to disturb the plant to encourage flight and be sure to check the underside of the leaves where both the adult and nymph whiteflies reside.

Since it is impossible to visually differentiate among whitefly biotypes, researchers agree that proper testing is a valuable tool to help growers determine whether the Q-biotype is the root cause of a whitefly control problem. Fewer than 10 percent of respondents said they would test for Q-biotype at the first signs of resistance; many (35 percent) would simply increase their insecticide use. “Without proper testing, I can’t tell the difference between Q and other strains,” Osborne says. “I’m confident scouts can tell apart the major whitefly species, but it’s almost at the point we want growers to assume they have a resistant strain of the whitefly, get it tested for Q-biotype immediately and treat it appropriately.”

Use Proven Products In Rotation

As the seasons begin for such highly susceptible crops like poinsettia, what are the best treatment options for the grower hoping to prevent or fight Q-biotype? Both researchers recommend growers work closely with a trusted source to choose a rotation of treatments and chemistries that may be used throughout the entire crop cycle.

Many growers seem to be embracing the idea of rotation. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents claim they used the same chemistry no more than three times within a given crop cycle. Bethke recommends a maximum of 21 consecutive days with the same chemistry. He says sometimes resistance is further encouraged by growers who mistakenly think they are changing modes of action when they rotate products.

“Just because you are rotating products, don’t assume you are rotating chemistries,” Bethke says. “Work with an Extension agent to ensure you are incorporating a full range of chemistries and maintaining good management practices.”

Most respondents in the study ranked “overall efficacy” (77 percent) and “length of residual” (66 percent) as their top attributes when selecting a treatment for whiteflies. Bethke says a thorough and complete kill is critical in whitefly treatment, but growers should also consider translaminar activity–an important attribute when treating whiteflies that dwell on the underside of leaves.
“A translaminar product or a good systemic should be one of the first products they should look for to effectively address whiteflies,” Bethke says.

Chamberlin says university trial data should serve as the cornerstone to developing a sound IPM program. He encourages growers to look to products that have consistently performed well in university trials.

“Several products have worked very well against the Q in university trials,” says Chamberlin. “Safari has been highly effective as a soil drench when tested against Q on poinsettia, and a number of products have been consistent performers when applied as foliar sprays, including Avid, Judo, Safari, Sanmite and TriStar. As always, coverage is key with foliar sprays, and products with translaminar activity should be considered in dense crop canopies.

“The most important thing is to not rely on that one best product for control of Q, but to instead rotate products with differing modes of action. Fortunately, the products I have mentioned are drawn from four different IRAC mode of action classes. This means that at the present time, growers are in a good position to put together an effective resistance management program for Q.”

Growers can see the full university trials of Q-biotype treatments at http://www.mrec.ifas.ufl.edu/LSO/bemisia/bemisia.htm

Leave a Reply

More From Insect Control...
Cal-Poly fields

May 27, 2015

Cal-Poly Students And Faculty Ask Industry To Help Save Horticulture Facilities

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, has released an update to its Master Plan that indicates that almost all of its orchards, horticulture facilities and field sites could be repurposed for buildings, including residential, and/or recreational space. According to a letter from Scott Steinmaus, the horticulture and crop science department head, the proposed changes directly affect the current orchard plantings and other long term plans for the department. The department is committed to making sure that its facilities remain invaluable teaching environments that enable its students to learn about crop, fruit and horticulture production, food safety and pest protection, in addition to providing sites for externally funded research projects that benefit the industry. Industry members are invited to submit comments to the university. According to Steinmaus, a recent eMail to the Cal-Poly community from the university president indicates that all of the input gathered through the end of May will be studied by the planning […]

Read More
Laura Drotleff

May 27, 2015

Growers Working Hard To Protect Pollinators — And Their Businesses (Opinion)

Editor’s Note: This editorial was written and published just prior to the news coming out about Lowe’s phasing out neonicotinoids by 2019. However, that news doesn’t change the fact that growers have a long history as good stewards of their land and of the environment. As evidenced by the 2015 Top 100 Growers Report, the nation’s largest growers continue to adapt their production practices to be cognizant of environmental factors, worker safety, retailer preferences and consumer concerns. In light of Lowe’s announcement, growers who produce for the retailer are certainly working toward that mandate; but they’re also hopeful that the research currently underway will provide scientific reason for decisions made on production going forward. When the news broke last year that growers would be required to label plants treated with neonicotinoids at The Home Depot, and that other retailers were mandating growers to produce crops without neonics, I sucked in air and […]

Read More

May 27, 2015

Vote For Your Favorite New Annual For The 2015 Readers’ Choice Award

VOTING IS NOW OPEN FOR: ANNUALS It’s time for you, our readers, to decide which variety is picked as the best new introduction in 2015. We’ve expanded our Readers’ Choice program to include a wider variety of plants. Breeders have entered their best varieties by category and the winners will advance as finalists to face off to win the Readers’ Choice Award. Categories are Annuals, Perennials, Edibles and the Best of the Rest. Finalists will be announced in June and the Readers’ Choice winner will be announced July 13 at Greenhouse Grower’s prestigious Evening Of Excellence event at Cultivate’15. Which annual is the most promising introduction? Vote here now! Thanks to our 2015 Medal Of Excellence sponsors, Landmark Plastics and Stockosorb by Evonik. Readers’ Choice Voting Schedule: Annuals – May 22 to May 28 (closes at 12 a.m. EST) Perennials – May 29 to June 4 (closes at 12 a.m. EST) Edibles – […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Bee On Flower

May 20, 2015

White House Task Force Releases Pollinator Health Strat…

An interagency Pollinator Health Task Force commissioned by President Obama released its “Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” on May 19. The strategy, released in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum issued last June, is accompanied by a Pollinator Research Action Plan, which outlines needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses and improve pollinator health. The recommended actions will be supported by a coordination of existing federal research efforts and accompanied by a request to Congress for additional resources to respond to losses in pollinator populations. Pages 47 through 52 specifically address pesticides and pollinators. The report calls out plant production, native plants, mosquito control and all urban uses in its Pollinator Action Plan. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) says it supports the goals of improving pollinator health and habitat contained in the White House Pollinator Task Force’s release of its National […]

Read More
Two-spotted spider mites, adults and eggs

May 18, 2015

Beware Of Spider Mites In Bougainvillea And Mandevilla …

Greenhouse growers need to scout for spider mites on bougainvillea and mandevilla and use appropriate treatments that minimize pesticide resistance.

Read More
CrownBees_Blue-Orchard-Bee-Female_Artz

May 14, 2015

Pollinator Health 2015: What’s Next For Horticult…

The news on pollinators and neonicotinoids continues to fluctuate between good and bad. Research and outreach efforts backed by the Bee and Pollinator Stewardship Initiative help move the industry in a positive direction.

Read More

April 20, 2015

Three Michigan State University On-Demand Webinars Offe…

The first rule of effective insect and disease control for vegetables is to take action to prevent problems before they occur. But in order to do that, you need to have an effective pest and disease management strategy in place that incorporates best practices to ensure a successful outcome. Michigan State University offers three pest and disease management on-demand webinars that will get you started and keep you on the right track.

Read More
Surendra Dara told attendees that biopesticides aren’t just for organic production. “These are tools for conventional growers, too. These materials do work.”

April 14, 2015

Biocontrols Are Covered In Depth At Biocontrols 2015 Co…

More than 400 growers, pest control advisers and certified crop advisers, researchers, government regulators and suppliers gathered in Fresno on March 3-5 for the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow. This event — a first of its kind focused solely on the use of biopesticides and other biocontrols — brought attendees together for an in-depth discussion on the latest tools available, “how-to” production topics, market trends and regulatory issues. Attendees also spent time with nearly 40 exhibitors learning about new technologies, techniques and services bringing biocontrols into the mainstream with growers all over the country. “Ours is a very economic and science-based business culture,” said Gary Schulz, the new CEO of the California Association Of Pest Control Advisers. “We encourage our pest control advisers (PCAs) to use all of the tools they have available, traditional chemicals, as well as many of the new softer materials including biopesticides and biocontrols.” Sessions covered […]

Read More

April 11, 2015

Lowe’s Announces Commitment To Phase Out Neonicotinoids…

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s companies announced April 9 that it has committed to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from its stores in a gradual phase-out over the next 48 months. In response, horticulture industry associations issued a statement that Lowe’s position is surprising, considering the most recent and positive reports on the state of honeybee health and recent peer reviewed research, and that this is an issue for which sound science must take priority.

Read More
Restricting foliar pesticide applications on blooming plants to early morning or as dusk approaches in the evening reduces direct exposure to bees.

April 10, 2015

10 Steps For Protecting Crops And Bees

Bees stay safe and high quality crops thrive when you use bee-friendly practices designed to help both succeed. Griffin Greenhouse Supply Pro (GGSPro) has been actively discussing bee-friendly pesticide use for years. Based on its current understanding of the science and social factors at play, GGSPro currently recommends these 10 bee-friendly practices.

Read More
As directed by EPA, the bee hazard icon appears in the Directions For Use for each application site for specific use restrictions and instructions to protect bee and other pollinators.

April 8, 2015

AFE To Fund Honey Bee Health Research Focused On Transl…

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is funding a new research project to examine the health of honey bees on ornamental plants following treatment with neonicotinoids and other systemic insecticides.

Read More

February 17, 2015

A New Look At Biological Control: Can Plants Affect The…

The success of a biological control program depends on a number of factors including quality of natural enemies, timing of release, release rates and environmental conditions. However, what is typically not taken into consideration is how plants can affect the performance of natural enemies, including attack rate and searching ability. Biological control agents work hard to protect plants, but plants have ways to help themselves, too.

Read More

February 1, 2015

New Pest Control Products For Your Toolbox

Add one of these new insecticides to your IPM program for successful pest control.

Read More
IR-4_profile_Feb2015

January 29, 2015

IR-4: A Pest Management Resource For Growers

Almost 40 years ago, IR-4 (Interregional Research Project Number 4) began serving the ornamental horticulture industry, helping to facilitate the registration of pest management tools. IR-4 does this primarily by surveying growers about their pest management issues and then hosting workshops to review survey results and set priorities for the coming years. Most recently, IR-4 coordinated a meeting of researchers and industry members on pollinator health and neonicotinoid chemistries to start a discussion on the needed research. The next step will be to get the outcomes from that workshop out to the public.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow: Peace Tree…

Lloyd Traven, a speaker at the upcoming Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow, was one of the industry’s early adopters of biocontrols in the greenhouse. Traven, owner of Peace Tree Farm, is evangelical about the technology as an effective tool for resistance management, as well as improved plant quality that contributes to a grower’s bottom line.

Read More
Wainwright-web-620x349

January 22, 2015

Quality Control With Biocontrols

Make sure the shipment of beneficials that just arrived is viable and ready to go to work in your greenhouse, nursery, or field. Here are five steps you can take to ensure success with your biocontrols.

Read More
As directed by EPA, the bee hazard icon appears in the Directions For Use for each application site for specific use restrictions and instructions to protect bee and other pollinators.

December 9, 2014

Fact Sheet: The Value Of Neonicotinoids To Turf And Orn…

An extensive study of the diverse turf and ornamental industry (“The Green Industry”) reveals that neonicotinoids are the top-rated products used by professionals to control their most important pests in greenhouses, landscapes, lawns, nurseries and trees.

Read More
As directed by EPA, the bee hazard icon appears in the Directions For Use for each application site for specific use restrictions and instructions to protect bee and other pollinators.

December 9, 2014

New Study Finds Neonicotinoids Are Top-Rated Products F…

According to results of a survey by AgInfomatics, professionals in the turf and ornamental industries fear the loss of neonicotinoid products would reduce the quality of their plants and services, increase costs and negatively impact their ability to manage pest resistance.

Read More

November 21, 2014

Ramped-Up Predatory Mite Production To Benefit Growers

Biological pest control company Beneficial Insectary is now producing both Amblyseius (=Neoseiulus) cucumeris and Stratiolaelaps scimitus (formerly Hypoaspis miles) at its facility in California. Domestic production in the U.S. is now benefiting growers in North America by reducing the transit time of perishable predatory mites between producer and grower.

Read More

November 14, 2014

Skagit Gardens To Eliminate Use Of Neonicotinoid Pestic…

Skagit Gardens, a wholesale grower located outside Mount Vernon, Wash., will eliminate all use of neonicotinoid pesticides beginning in January 2015.

Read More

November 11, 2014

Clarification: White House Recommends Sourcing Insectic…

UPDATE: The Obama Administration's addendum to the Sustainable Practices for Designed Landscapes applies only to federal agencies “implementing landscaping practices on agency-owned or leased land or space.”

Read More