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...
Aphids

July 7, 2017

New Tools for Your Crop Protection Arsenal in the Greenhouse

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
Latest Stories
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
OHP Biosolutions

April 8, 2017

OHP Enters Biocontrols Market With New Product Line

The OHP Biosolutions program will feature insecticides, fungicides, and other products designed to address the expanding segment of growers who use biological products.

Read More
Dramm Low Volume Coldfogger Sprayer

April 2, 2017

Dramm Upgrades Its Coldfogger Low-Volume Sprayer to Imp…

Dramm recently updated its Coldfogger, a targeted low-volume sprayer, to a new model that offers a more durable pump that is easier to use and allows for the use of corrosive chemistries.

Read More

March 20, 2017

AgBiome’s New Zio Biofungicide Receives EPA Regis…

The new biofungicide is the first product from AgBiome, and will be marketed by SePRO Corp. in the ornamentals market.

Read More
Oat Grass Banker System feature

March 20, 2017

How You Can Market the Benefits of Biocontrols

Educating retailers and end consumers about the use of biocontrols and why it’s important has helped Fessler Nursery gain new customers and profits.

Read More

February 28, 2017

OHP Launches New Ovicide/Miticide, Announces Partnershi…

Applause is a new miticide that targets eggs and immature stages of several mite species. Through the Vestaron partnership, OHP will market Spear-O, a toxin-derived bioinsecticide.

Read More

February 26, 2017

AgBiome Will Enter the Ornamentals Market With a New Bi…

AgBiome, a young company with teammates steeped in decades of experience in the crop protection world, sees an opportunity to bring products to market that fill the existing gaps in plant protection. The company has partnered with SePRO to market and distribute Zio, a biological fungicide expecting EPA registration this spring.

Read More
Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus on Osteospormum

February 23, 2017

4 Pathogens to Prepare For in 2017

Early detection of disease and virus symptoms in the greenhouse is critical. One expert says there are a few pathogens in particular that growers should be monitoring.

Read More
Boxwood Blight

February 7, 2017

Boxwood Blight Detection in Illinois Has Growers on Ale…

Symptoms of boxwood blight, which can spread quickly in production facilities, include leaf spots, stem cankers, and defoliation.

Read More