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
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
EAGL Graduates

February 22, 2017

Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…

Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.

Read More
Drone for Bee Pollination

February 21, 2017

Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…

Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.

Read More

February 21, 2017

Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…

Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Christmas Joy Marble'

February 20, 2017

5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition

With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.

Read More
University of Tennessee trials overview (2015 University of Tennessee Field Trials)

February 19, 2017

2016 University of Tennessee Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for the University of Tennessee Gardens in Knoxville and Jackson, TN.

Read More
Reiman Gardens field trials

February 18, 2017

2016 Iowa State University Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

February 18, 2017

Top 100 Growers Survey for 2017 Is Now Open!

Operations with more than 400,000 square feet of environmentally controlled production are eligible to take the survey, which only takes a few minutes to complete.

Read More

February 17, 2017

How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…

A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.

Read More
Summerwinds Proven Winners display FEATURE

February 17, 2017

Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…

Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.

Read More
Tom Foley, WaterPulse

February 17, 2017

Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…

Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.

Read More
Dan and Jerrys Greenhouse 1

February 17, 2017

Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…

The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.

Read More
Savor New Website

February 16, 2017

Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…

The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read More
Syngenta Obsession Cascade

February 15, 2017

Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017

‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.

Read More

February 15, 2017

Growers Planning to Invest in Structures in 2017

Data from this year’s Greenhouse Grower State of the Industry survey indicates that growers are planning to make major investments in structures and facility upgrades this year.

Read More
NVAC Greenhouse prototype

February 15, 2017

New Greenhouse Cooling System in Development for Hot-Cl…

Researchers at McGill University in Quebec have developed an alternative evaporative cooling solution for greenhouses in warm climates, and are now seeking commercial partners.

Read More

February 15, 2017

Registration Open for NGMA Spring Meeting

The annual gathering of the National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association will feature a look at green industry trends, emerging market opportunities, and more.

Read More
EuroAmerican Propagators Greenhouses

February 14, 2017

Suppliers Comment on Plant Genetics’ Fate After EuroAme…

Since the operation’s bankruptcy filing on January 23, 2017, suppliers associated with EuroAmerican Propagators have updated Greenhouse Grower on what the operation’s bankruptcy means for them – and how it will impact grower customers.

Read More