Biocontrols: Four Tips On Using Them In The Greenhouse

Scouting is a critical factor in a successful biocontrols program.

In their years of experience, Grower Direct Farms and Post Gardens have learned a thing or two about using biocontrols. Here’s the advice they give to other growers who are using or considering using living organisms to control insects and diseases in the greenhouse.

1. Weather during application can make a difference. No Fly (for control of thrips, whitefly and mites) and Met 52 (for control of thrips, aphids and whitefly) should be used on cloudy days, says Post Gardens’ Bill Tuinier. The fungi in these foliar sprays needs to stay on the plant for as long as possible so insects can ingest them. Too much sun will cause the treatment to evaporate.

2. Find out how biocontrols work in order to use them most effectively. To build a program, figure out which biocontrols are appropriate for your crop and how much of them to use order to keep pest pressures down. Tuinier cites one cucumeris that Post has used — it crawls from plant to plant. When crops aren’t spaced pot-to-pot, the cucumeris doesn’t spread as easily. With more widely spaced plants, growers need to hang a sachet on each plant. “It’s a learning curve, but something you can get in and out of fairly easily,” he says.

3. Find out which chemicals can be used with biologicals. BCA suppliers share compatibility charts that show when and how traditional controls can be used in a program with BCAs. Adam Van Wingerden says Grower Direct Farms’ populations have been affected where certain fungicides are used, and the operation doesn’t use BCAs in vegetative propagation areas as a result. On the other hand, “You can spray Avid, then a week later you can come back in with biologicals,” Tuinier says.

4. Don’t go it alone. If you’re planning to jump into using biocontrols, enlist the help of an entomologist. Post Gardens’ supplier, MGS, came to Post with an entomologist, who has helped build the program over the last three years. “You can’t do it on your own. You need help,” Tuinier says. “That person comes out about once a month to make sure everything is OK and to help scout. You need that kind of backing to make it feel comfortable. Going it on your own is not easy to do.”

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...
Jose-Milan-Bayer

February 11, 2018

Bayer Has New Turf and Ornamentals Global Market Manager

Jose Milan will be focused on helping growers deal with regulatory issues, while promoting the environmental benefits the ornamentals industry offers.

Read More
Belchim Crop Protection

January 24, 2018

Engage Agro Now Doing Business as Belchim Crop Protection

For more than 30 years, Belchim has been providing agricultural customers internationally, including greenhouse growers, with more than 100 well-known products.

Read More
cuttings-facility

December 13, 2017

New Webinars Address Effective Propagation Techniques

e-Gro, an online clearing house for alerts about greenhouse disease, insect, environmental, physiological, and nutritional disorders, recently posted two new propagation-related webinars on YouTube.

Read More
Latest Stories
Jose-Milan-Bayer

February 11, 2018

Bayer Has New Turf and Ornamentals Global Market Manage…

Jose Milan will be focused on helping growers deal with regulatory issues, while promoting the environmental benefits the ornamentals industry offers.

Read More
Belchim Crop Protection

January 24, 2018

Engage Agro Now Doing Business as Belchim Crop Protecti…

For more than 30 years, Belchim has been providing agricultural customers internationally, including greenhouse growers, with more than 100 well-known products.

Read More
cuttings-facility

December 13, 2017

New Webinars Address Effective Propagation Techniques

e-Gro, an online clearing house for alerts about greenhouse disease, insect, environmental, physiological, and nutritional disorders, recently posted two new propagation-related webinars on YouTube.

Read More

December 4, 2017

Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Debuts as Roberta’s Finali…

On December 1, Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. in Waldron, IN, officially purchased C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI. The new identity of the company is now Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, according to a Dec. 1 letter to Raker’s customers, suppliers, and business partners from Vice President Susie Raker-Zimmerman. “There have been minimal changes in management and we will be providing the same products and services on which we have built our reputation in the industry,” Raker-Zimmerman said in the letter, which also announced the name change and new logo. The sale of C. Raker & Sons was announced in September . A series of events affecting Raker’s financial situation caused the need for the operation to find an alternate solution. Roberta’s had been a customer of Raker’s since 2011, and the fourth generation, family owned grower-retailer was a fan of Raker’s commitment to quality. The agreement to purchase C. […]

Read More
Biocontrols in a Greenhouse

November 27, 2017

4 Opportunities to Educate Yourself on IPM Practices in…

The Michigan State University Extension floriculture team has developed four greenhouse integrated pest management sessions that will be presented at the 2017 Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo in Grand Rapids, MI.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

November 11, 2017

OHP Announces Two New Ornamental Pest Management Tools

OHP recently added two new crop protection tools to its profile of biosolutions: a biological insecticide, and an ornamental fungicide.

Read More
OHP Biosolutions

September 26, 2017

OHP Acquired by AMVAC, But Will Continue to Operate As …

AMVAC has acquired OHP and its chemical and biological crop protection solutions for the greenhouse and nursery markets. The deal will close in early October, and there will be no changes to staff, products, or operations.

Read More
Hydroponics Michigan State Web

September 14, 2017

Hydroponic and Aquaponics Growers Face Possible Loss of…

The National Organic Standards Board is considering recommending that USDA revoke the ability for hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic, and other container-based growing methods to be certified organic, according to an update from growers at Upstart University.

Read More
Aphids

July 7, 2017

New Tools for Your Crop Protection Arsenal in the Green…

Over the past few months, crop protection companies have developed several new products designed to help you manage a wide range of insect and disease pests. Here’s a look at some of them.

Read More
Yellow Stick Card for thrips

July 5, 2017

Tips From a Top 100 Grower for Effective Thrips Control

A combination of conventional materials and biologicals can help provide season-long management of thrips in hanging baskets.

Read More
Primula acaulis, Botrytis, Disease, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies

May 30, 2017

BioWorks Launches New Biofungicide for Botrytis Control

BotryStop was developed for the control of pathogens such as Botrytis, Sclerotinia, and Monilinia in several crops, including ornamentals.

Read More
Adult Aphidoletes in web - Feature

May 27, 2017

How to Overcome Biocontrol Challenges by Thinking Outsi…

With a little creative thinking and adjustments to your strategy, you can overcome your greenhouse biocontrol challenges.

Read More
Cannabis Seedling

May 20, 2017

Biocontrols: A Practical Option for Cannabis

With limited options for chemical pest control, cannabis growers are incorporating biocontrols into their integrated pest management programs. More education will cement this solution as a viable option in this emerging market.

Read More
Christmas Cactus

May 18, 2017

How to Increase Branching and Flower Bud Production of …

Based on research completed at North Carolina State University, here are some methods for increasing branching and flower bud production of Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii).

Read More
Herbicide Drift in the Greenhouse

May 15, 2017

How to Identify and Mitigate Herbicide Contamination in…

Herbicides applied off-site or within the greenhouse can significantly damage ornamental and edible crops. Beth Scheckelhoff, an Extension Educator for Greenhouse Systems at The Ohio State University, provides some examples and basic recommendations for mitigating and preventing herbicide contamination and injury in the future.

Read More

May 4, 2017

Bayer Altus Update: Neonic Insect Control Alternative N…

Altus, a butenolide class insecticide with the active ingredient flupyradifurone, will be available beginning May 1, and is labeled for greenhouse and nursery use on ornamental plants, vegetable transplants, and indoor vegetable production.

Read More
Bumblebees

May 2, 2017

Pollinator Update: The Bumblebee on the Endangered List…

With plenty of attention being placed on pollinator health around the country and the world, here’s what you need to know.

Read More
Florikan Space Technology Hall of Fame

April 25, 2017

Out-Of-This-World Plant Nutrition: Fertilizer Company I…

NASA scientists are growing vegetables on the International Space Station using Florikan’s controlled release fertilizer.

Read More