May 16, 2013

Biocontrols: Four Tips On Using Them In The Greenhouse

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 […]

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May 8, 2013

How To Transition To Biocontrols In The Greenhouse

In this year’s Top 100 Growers survey, we asked how many of the largest operations in the country are using biological controls, and how much they’re using them. We found that nine Top 100 Growers say they are using mostly biocontrols with some chemical controls. How long have they been managing pests and diseases this way and how did they make the transition from traditional chemical controls to biocontrols? We talked to Post Gardens’ Bill Tuinier and Grower Direct Farms’ Adam Van Wingerden to find out. Grower Direct Farms: A Gradual Shift For Grower Direct Farms, the transition to biological controls started five years ago when growers there began experimenting on a small scale to determine the products’ pros and cons. (For an explanation of the different types of biocontrols, see the Biocontrol Glossary.) “In order to completely evaluate them, we needed to transition the whole operation,” says Van Wingerden. […]

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