Manufacturers Are Taking Biologicals To The Next Level

It takes a significant investment, and a leap of faith, for a grower to jump head-first into a relatively new trend such as biocontrols. But imagine if you’re the manufacturer of such products. A transition like this might have millions of dollars attached to it, to say nothing of the future viability of your company.

Yet that is exactly what several crop protection companies are doing, whether it’s through launching a new biocontrols product, or a conventional company acquiring another brand with years of experience in biocontrols.

Here’s how some of these companies make biocontrols are an important part of their offerings, how they position them as part of a pest control program and what the future holds for the use of biocontrols in the ornamental industry.

BioWorks (Jeff Luke, Marketing Manager)

Since our beginning in the early ’90s, our focus has consistently been on providing environmentally responsible, safe and effective products and programs for managing plant diseases, pests and nutrition — all being biological or biorational. It all ties back to our purpose, which is to create a safer environment and a healthier planet — ultimately, to be responsible stewards. Our product offerings are the most effective ways we can address our purpose on a large scale.

We are positioning the use of biologicals three ways:
• The first is as part of integrated disease and pest management programs. Because biologicals frequently work via non-toxic or multiple modes of action, they are excellent tools to manage pathogen and pest resistance to chemical pesticides.
• The second is as viable alternatives to strict chemical use. If growers are looking to reduce chemical use, for whatever reason, biologicals can in many situations equal and sometimes surpass chemical products in efficacy, convenience, cost in use, safety or any combination of these.
• Third, and the most obvious, is responsibly providing proven biologicals and biorationals to organic growers or those running sustainable or green operations.

We know that millennials are going to be a driving force in all markets, and they tend to navigate to businesses and brands that support their desire to live healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. Biologicals and environmentally responsible products will be in greater demand as consumer interest continues to shift in that direction.

Also, with the increasing cost of registering chemical pesticides, along with the risk of resistance development with many chemicals, more global pesticide companies are turning to development of biopesticides. The end result of this is that more biopesticides will be available to the ornamental industry.

Phyllom BioProducts (Kurt Schwartau, Business Advisory Board)

Phyllom BioProducts Corp. was founded by leading Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) scientists with a history of developing these technologies for use both inside (traits) and outside the plant as biopesticides.

Phyllom is fortunate in that its Bt products can be stand-alone products. They are direct replacements for neonicotinoid chemistry for control of key pests such as the Japanese/Oriental/Asiatic garden beetle/Chafer adults or the grub stages, and offer a viable control option against emerald ash borer adults. In addition, because they only control certain susceptible beetles, they carry no bee or flowering plant label restrictions. Therefore, they may be used in an integrated pest management program at critical plant pollination stage without adverse risk to bees and other beneficial insects. Additional trials are planned on key ornamental pests such as leaf-feeding beetles.

The ornamental industry is leading the way in adoption of classic biocontrol via insect pest parasites. Microbial biocontrols are less costly to produce and offer the opportunity to manage both diseases and insect pests in IPM programs with the classic biocontrols such as parasitic wasps. Couple that with easier management decisions because of short re-entry intervals and zero-day preharvest intervals on edibles and they make decision making less stressful.

Syngenta Bioline (Ronald Valentin)

Syngenta’s history of BioLine, headquartered in the UK, came from a company called Bunting and Sons. There was an early interest in biological controls as part of a pest management approach. Back then it was mostly focused on the vegetable industry, especially hydroponics. About 10 years ago the interest in ornamental crops started to grow as well. In most cases, this has been driven by pesticide resistance. That’s where the greenhouse vegetable industry came from.

In North America we’ve seen problems in the last ten years with current thrips control chemistries. That drove growers to look for alternatives.

What we’ve learned over the years is that if a grower is interested in adding biocontrols, he has to look at what he is doing with traditional pesticides. Growers may start off using a traditional spray program and trying to fill the voids with biologicals. It’s hard to deliberately mix the two, but it’s not as if when you use a biological control program, you will never use a pesticide. I think Syngenta has focused on chemistries that are compatible. There are good products in the portfolio. Endeavor and Citation are two products that fit well in an ICM approach.

Moving forward, one big breakthrough we are seeing is in new breeding systems for predatory mites. That will continue to grow. If you look at the ornamental and vegetable industries, growers and researchers are looking at the earliest development stages of plant material and how to keep them clean. I think this propagation is something that’s very important. We’re also looking at a technique to include predatory mites in the production chain, propagation and cutting production.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...

November 24, 2017

How RFID Technology Can Help With Plant Cart Tracking

One of the biggest hassles in the greenhouse is keeping track of all those shipping carts. Improved RFID technology for cart tracking may be one solution to help keep profit losses due to lost or damaged carts at a minimum.

Read More

November 13, 2017

International Growing Media Symposium Comes to the U.S.

This International Symposium, with representatives from 21 countries, covered new market opportunities, generated innovative ideas, and offered first-hand information to more than 150 attendees.

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
Latest Stories
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

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

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