Gauging Greenhouse Pesticide Use

The economic challenges many greenhouse growers faced in 2009 obviously resulted in challenges for many of their suppliers. This was particularly true for suppliers of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and plant growth regulators who felt pressure from reduced production, as well as more aggressive price shopping by growers.

In fact, nearly one-third of the respondents to a survey conducted by Greenhouse Grower reported cutting their total pesticide expenditures in 2009 from 2008. And while more than 40 percent of growers reported an increase in their pesticide spending last year, they also noted that such increases were by a very low percentage over 2008 levels, ultimately resulting in a flat year at best for pesticide suppliers.

Production Rising

The Greenhouse Grower survey did unearth some good news, though, as growers reporting they plan to increase production in 2010 outnumber those planning to reduce production 2-to-1. Still, growers are clearly looking to control their costs, and pesticide expenditures remain one area of focus.

On average, respondents to the survey reported spending slightly more than $22,000 on pesticide products in 2008, which would equate to total pesticide spending of approximately $330 million annually by the greenhouse growers nationwide.

However, there is clearly a wide range of spending among growers. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents report annual pesticide expenditures of less than $10,000 while more than 16 percent of the respondents report spending in excess of $50,000 on these products last year.

Insecticides are the most commonly purchased pesticide products, although growers clearly use a complete arsenal of products to solve their pest problems.

Product Type
% of Growers Who Bought In 2009
Insecticides 90.2%
Fungicides 80.4%
Herbicides 71.4%
Plant growth regulators 61.6%
Miticides 58.9%

Going ‘Eco’

The research also illustrated what many industry observers have noted regarding the incorporation of “organic” or “eco-oriented” products in a pest control program–it’s slow but happening. While only one-third of respondents noted they’ve been using these products for four years or more, slightly more than half (53.6 percent) of the survey respondents said they purchased at least one such product in 2009.

In addition, nearly half (47.6 percent) of the growers reported increasing their spending on these alternative products, while 43.2 percent of growers reported they expect to increase their spending on this category in 2010.

Still, this group of products represents a relatively small portion of the overall pest control spending in the industry with just 27 percent of growers reporting more than 10 percent of their total pest control spending goes toward organic products. What the numbers clearly show is that a small segment of growers has committed itself to a pest control program built around alternative products, while the vast majority of growers remain largely wedded to the traditional products as they gradually incorporate some alternative products into their programs.

Not surprisingly given that growers report they are working to control their pesticide expenditures, they are also working to avoid buying product any earlier than they have to buy it. Nearly 60 percent of respondents reported they buy the majority of their pesticides as needed during the season while only 23.9 percent reported buying these products at least three months prior to application.

Top Pests & Diseases

Growers also reported buying pesticides produced by a wide range of manufacturers, with the five most commonly identified as sources being Syngenta, OHP, BioWorks, BASF, Dow AgroSciences and BioSafe.

Finally, growers identified a wide range of pest challenges from last year. The most commonly cited insect issues were aphids, thrips and white flies, while the most common disease problems were botrytis, powdery mildew, phytophthora and pythium.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Gauging Greenhouse Pesticide Use

Latest Stories
LumiGrow Vine Crops Guide

August 19, 2017

New Lighting Guide for Vine Crop Growers Now Available

The new guide from LumiGrow is intended to help greenhouse tomato, cucumber, and pepper growers use LED lighting more effectively to maximize profits, boost yields, and increase crop quality.

Read More
Four Star 2018 Catalog

August 18, 2017

Four Star Greenhouses’ 2018 Catalog Includes New Variet…

The new catalog is available in both print and digital formats, and features information on new trays that allow for more plugs per square foot.

Read More
Gage Willey

August 17, 2017

Shinoda Scholar of the Year is Aiming for a Long Career…

Gage Willey, a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Greenhouse/Nursery Production. His goal is to own a production and retail nursery.

Read More
AFE Scholarship Video

August 16, 2017

Looking to Host an Intern This Year? Consider AFE’s Sch…

The American Floral Endowment is accepting applications for its Vic and Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program and Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program until Oct 1. Interested companies can apply anytime to become a host employer.

Read More
Delta T Devices WET Sensor in Space

August 15, 2017

Greenhouse Environmental Sensor is Truly “Out of This W…

Delta-T’s multi-parameter WET Sensor has been used by Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong-2 Space Lab to cultivate lettuce plants within the weightless atmosphere.

Read More
griffin-expo

August 15, 2017

Griffin Becomes Newest Distributor for Master Nursery G…

The agreement allows Griffin to join Master Nursery’s network of more than 150 supplier partners, while giving Master Nursery access to new product and service options for member businesses in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions.

Read More
Tal Coley, AmericanHort Director of Government Affairs

August 15, 2017

AmericanHort Has a New Director of Government Affairs

Tal Coley, a U.S. Air Force veteran who has an extensive background in issues advocacy, will play an active role in AmericanHort’s upcoming Impact Washington event in September.

Read More
Recyclable Horticulture Plastic Containers

August 15, 2017

How to Know Which Plastic Containers You Can Recycle

Michigan State University’s Garrett Owen offers tips to help you properly dispose of plastic containers, flats, and trays.

Read More
Francis Kwong, PanAmerican Seed

August 15, 2017

Ornamental Seed Scientist Francis Kwong Dies at Age 65

Kwong was most recently the Director of Seed Technology for PanAmerican Seed, and his research was instrumental in the development of calibrachoa, angelonia, and other plants.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 15, 2017

Why Consumers May Be More Interested in Plants Than You…

A visit to a local lavender event is a reminder that when you tap into something consumers are excited about and want to experience, the reward can be long-lasting,

Read More
Three Sections of Vineland Research Centre

August 14, 2017

Canadian Greenhouse Conference Features Focus on Techno…

This year’s Canadian Greenhouse Conference kicks off on October 4, and there is no shortage of presentations devoted to how growers can implement new technology in their greenhouses.

Read More
Youngs Greenhouse Space Growing Feature

August 14, 2017

How Young’s Plant Farm Invests in New Structures and Eq…

The Auburn, AL-based Top 100 Grower operation is improving its production infrastructure so it can continue to efficiently produce quality plants and keep up with demand.

Read More
HOVE International Rolling benches on concrete

August 11, 2017

Greenhouse Bench Systems Designed to Handle Any Space

HOVE bench systems from HOVE International can accommodate multiple levels while allowing for run-off water collection.

Read More
DTH 800 (Link4 Corporation)-feature

August 10, 2017

New Sensors Can Help You Manage Your Greenhouse Crop 24…

The wrong environmental conditions in your greenhouse can potentially lead to significant crop loss. Here’s how sensor technology manufacturers are helping you safeguard your greenhouse.

Read More
LED toplighting, Runkle - feature

August 9, 2017

Lighting Technology Under the Microscope at Production …

Here’s a sneak preview of three lighting trends that will be discussed by Erik Runkle at the Production Technology Conference.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Vestaron

Vestaron’s Spear insecticides carry labels for control of thrips, white flies and spider mites on both greenhouse ornamentals and greenhouse vegetables.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Bayer

Bayer’s Altus insecticide can be used before, during and after bloom to control whiteflies, aphids and other sucking pests on a wide range of ornamental pests.

Read More

August 9, 2017

Jiffy

Jiffy’s orchid plug propagation system has been shown to deliver production time savings from 25% to 40% as the uniform substrate stimulates fibrous root growth throughout the plug.

Read More