Thrips are among the most prevalent pests causing problems for greenhouse growers each year, but new research results show that control is possible with a systems approach based in biological controls and integrated pest management (IPM).
Driven by pesticide resistance and the demand for sustainable production, many growers have successfully made the switch to using biocontrols-based IPM targeting thrips, according to Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Research Scientist Biological Control, at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland, ON. Buitenhuis led a recent research project, funded by the American Floral Endowment.
The systems approach to using biological control-based IPM addresses the underlying weaknesses of the production system that make it favorable to pests, Buitenhuis says.
“If we limit our IPM strategy to adding bios, we assume that pest outbreaks are caused by the absence of natural enemies,” she says. “Yet, for best results, we also have to improve crop resistance and change production practices and the greenhouse environment to reduce the development of pests.”
During Meister Media Worldwide’s 2018 Biocontrols West Conference in San Diego, March 7-9, Buitenhuis will present the major components of thrips IPM, and how it fits into greenhouse production systems. Growers will take home hands-on, practical knowledge to implement into production immediately.
In addition to learning how to combat thrips with biological-based IPM, greenhouse growers will learn how to control another major pest – Botrytis – with new research from Dr. Jim Faust of Clemson University, and take home tips from Nadine Stielow of Thiel’s Greenhouses, who uses a number of platforms to engage end consumers on the how and whys of using biocontrols.
Growers will also get a crash course on biocontrols basics including implementing a sanitation regimen to prevent pests and safeguard crops; quality control and application of biological control agents (BCAs); and using banker plant systems and supplemental feeding for prolonged life and use of BCAs.
Sign up today to get all of this firsthand knowledge, and get ahead of your competition, by attending the Biocontrols USA West Conference.