Researching Pest Problems

The research program of Kansas State University’s Dr. Raymond A. Cloyd focuses on discovering and implementing new methods to effectively manage greenhouse insect and mite pests with minimal pesticide inputs. His current research involves, although not limited to, evaluating the following:

■ Compatibility of pesticides including insecticides, miticides and fungicides with biological control agents (natural enemies). This research is designed to assess the lethal (immediate) and sub-lethal (long-term) effects of commercially available insecticides, miticides and fungicides on specific natural enemies. For example, research has shown the miticides bifenazate (Floramite), spiromesifen (Judo) and chlorfenapyr (Pylon) are not harmful to the predatory mite, Neoseiulus californicus; but are toxic to Phytoseiulus persimilis.

■ Impact of tank-mixing pesticides (insecticides, miticides and fungicides) for control of insect and mite pests. This research addresses the issues related to tank-mixing pesticides, such as how pesticide mixtures, including two- and three-way combinations, impact control of arthropod pests.

■ Quality of commercially available biological control agents sold to greenhouse producers. This research has demonstrated that the quality, based on percent survival, of commercially available entomopathogenic nematodes, in this case, the species Steinernema feltiae, can vary depending on the supplier.

■ Effect of silicon applications on the reproduction and development of arthropod pests feeding on horticultural crops. This research involves determining if foliar and/or drench applications of potassium silicate negatively affect the reproduction and development of the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri and greenhouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, when feeding on certain plants.

Downy Mildew Management

Mary Hausbeck and Blair Harlan at Michigan State University and Margery Daughtrey at Cornell University are studying management of the new downy mildew (DM) disease on coleus with funding from the American Floral Endowment. Both seed-grown and cutting varieties are under assault by this new Peronospora species. The disease was widespread in the industry in 2006 but many growers did not recognize the problem. The coleus DM has been found to be the same species that is affecting greenhouse crops of basil in Europe. Host range trials in New York have shown that the new DM will also attack agastache hybrids currently in the trade. Environmental regulation may be key.

Spore-trapping studies in Michigan are looking at the how the number of spores in the greenhouse atmosphere correlate with environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity and leaf wetness. Fungicide trials in New York have indicated, SubdueMAXX drenches and sprays of Fenstar and StatureDM to be especially effective. Trials in Michigan have corroborated the effectiveness of Stature DM and SubdueMAXX, and have also seen benefit of spray treatments with BAS 516, Insignia and Pentathlon LF. From their results, programs using rotations of Stature DM and a mancozeb appear to be the most effective option.

Whitefly Management

Dr. Scott Ludwig is an Extension Program Specialist-IPM with Texas Cooperative Extension in Overton, Texas. He serves as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Whitefly Biotype Q Task Force, where he is co-coordinator of the education subgroup. USDA-ARS has funded a national effort to develop a science-based whitefly management plan comprising both chemical and biological control techniques. He is currently evaluating the impact of insecticide residue on silverleaf whiteflies and common natural enemies found in ornamental systems. These projects should extend the life of the effective insecticides used against whitefly control while reducing grower inputs in the pest management programs.

This spring, Dr. Ludwig will start a program looking at insecticide resistance in western flower thrips and Madeira mealybugs. He recently started a pilot program with the IR-4 Seed Treatment program to evaluate the effectiveness of insecticide-coated ornamental seed, which would provide four to eight weeks of insect control without additional pesticide applications.

To provide Texas producers with science-based pest management recommendations, he conducts research and demonstration trials evaluating herbicide and insecticide efficacy and crop safety at grower and University facilities. This work has been funded though the Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association, the Texas IPM Program, USDA–ARS and its Floriculture Research Initiative, the IR-4 Project and commercial companies. etipm.tamu.edu.

Reduced Risk Pesticides

Michael Parella’s laboratory in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Davis focuses on developing and implementing IPM strategies in floriculture crops with an emphasis on biological control. This includes traditional areas such as development of sampling plans, economic thresholds, evaluation of biological control agents, compatibility of biological control agents with pesticides, etc.

This program differentiates itself from others in its attempts to include other aspects, such as fertilizer inputs, water quality and post harvest life of flowers – best management practices for cut flowers. The lab has several joint projects with horticulturists, soil scientists and plant physiologists on the Davis campus. The lab also maintains colonies of the major pests and works with the agchem industry and the IR-4 program in screening "reduced risk" pesticides and in determining their compatibility with natural enemies. Students and staff are working with developing complete programs for cut and potted gerbera through the creation of the Gerbera Alliance and anticipate developing a Bedding Plant Alliance.

Specific projects include an evaluation of silicon added to the fertilizer mix to improve host plant resistance, an analysis of the lady beetle, Psyllobora vigintimaculata, as a biological control agent of powdery mildew, studying the biology and control of the iris whitefly, biological control of leafminers through the use of the sterile insect technique and parasitoids, and the development of an identification key for invasive thrips species that can be used by regulatory personnel at ports of entry to prevent the introduction of exotic thrips species. 

Sustainable Pest Management

Developing cost-effective and sustainable pest management programs for greenhouse pests is the central mission for John Sanderson’s research and extension program at Cornell. With funding support from the USDA Floral and Nursery Research Initiative, the Gloeckner Foundation, the Post/Schenkel Foundation and IR-4, Sanderson’s program is collaborating with the lab of USDA–ARS scientist Stephan Wraight to fight greenhouse pests. The lab is evaluating pesticides for use against Q-biotype sweetpotato whitefly and western flower thrips, among other pests. After discovering a non-native "hunter fly" in greenhouses across North America and beyond, the researchers are learning how this voracious predator might be used to control greenhouse pests such as fungus gnats and shore flies.

They are also evaluating the use of "banker plants" or "open-rearing systems" to cheaply and simply generate natural enemies for cost-effective control of greenhouse pests such as thrips, aphids, whiteflies and fungus gnats.

Cooperating with Margery Daughtrey, Cornell researchers are looking at the interactions between plant root health, fungus gnats and root rot pathogens to learn how to minimize crop losses. Several insect fungal pathogens are being evaluated for control of pests including aphids, shore flies and whiteflies, and whether it is possible to integrate applications of these pathogens with the use of other natural enemies for optimal pest control. 

Active Ingredient Tests

The objective of Mary Hausbeck’s lab is to characterize the efficacy of new active ingredients including reduced-risk fungicides, biocontrol agents or biopesticides against Botrytis cinerea, Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., powdery mildew and downy mildew pathogens. Thirty-two products, 13 registered, 19 unregistered (of which 13 were experimental) were tested in efficacy trials.

One trial tested 12 treatments of fungicides for the control of Botrytis on geranium. Daconil WeatherStik F (chlorothalonil) and Decree WDG proved especially effective. Three trials tested 31 treatments of fungicides alone and in combination for the control of Pythium on geranium and poinsettia. Subdue MAXX 2EC alone or in combination with Heritage 50WG, Truban 30WP and an experimental product from Valent effectively limited Pythium root rot. One trial tested 33 treatments of fungicides for the control of Phytophthora on snapdragon and Fenstar and experimental products from Syngenta and Valent significantly reduced plant death.

Two trials tested 16 treatments of fungicides applied alone and in combination for the control of downy mildew (Peronospora sparsa) of rose. Applications of Daconil WeatherStik, Heritage WDG, Stature DM, Junction DF and an experimental chemical from Syngenta in combination with Heritage and/or Subdue Maxx were especially effective for downy mildew control. Eagle, Terraguard and an experimental from BASF were found to be effective treatments for powdery mildew on African daisies and verbena.

Leave a Reply

More From ...

April 17, 2015

Sakata Seed Uses California Spring Trials Display Plants To Give Back

Sakata Seed America is putting its post-CAST (California Spring Trials) plants and flowers to good use to support events in local California communities of Salinas and Morgan Hill. The plants, along with donations through Sakata's Charitable Giving Program, will support three fun-filled community events that promote healthy lifestyles and support the agricultural industry.

Read More
Hakonochloa macra Aureola v

April 17, 2015

Ornamental Grasses — A Few Thoughts

Grasses have been embraced by growers, landscape architects and retailers, and are an important component in wholesale and resale sales. Allan Armitage shares some popular grasses, one to avoid and a few to use with caution.

Read More
PW_CAST15

April 17, 2015

Allan Armitage’s Favorite Plants From Proven Winners, Syngenta And Danziger

Between visiting California Spring Trial giants like Proven Winners, Syngenta and Danziger, Allan Armitage saw a lot of great plants in one day. Despite the size of the challenge, Dr. Armitage finds a few favorites he thinks you should try.

Read More
Latest Stories

April 17, 2015

Sakata Seed Uses California Spring Trials Display Plant…

Sakata Seed America is putting its post-CAST (California Spring Trials) plants and flowers to good use to support events in local California communities of Salinas and Morgan Hill. The plants, along with donations through Sakata's Charitable Giving Program, will support three fun-filled community events that promote healthy lifestyles and support the agricultural industry.

Read More
Hakonochloa macra Aureola v

April 17, 2015

Ornamental Grasses — A Few Thoughts

Grasses have been embraced by growers, landscape architects and retailers, and are an important component in wholesale and resale sales. Allan Armitage shares some popular grasses, one to avoid and a few to use with caution.

Read More
PW_CAST15

April 17, 2015

Allan Armitage’s Favorite Plants From Proven Winn…

Between visiting California Spring Trial giants like Proven Winners, Syngenta and Danziger, Allan Armitage saw a lot of great plants in one day. Despite the size of the challenge, Dr. Armitage finds a few favorites he thinks you should try.

Read More
Gazania hybrid 'Amber Ice' (Cultivaris)

April 17, 2015

The 80/20 Theory Approach To Inventory Selection Is Put…

Tim Runte of Calloway Gardens is a member of Greenhouse Grower's Medal Of Excellence For Industry's Choice Panel. Here, he shares how he determines which plants shown at this year's California Spring Trials will make the cut at his retail stores.

Read More

April 17, 2015

Trends At California Spring Trials: AmericanHort’…

Michael Geary, CEO and president of AmericanHort, hit the road during California Spring Trials, and noted trends he saw at many of the stops. Here's one that he says we'll need to consider carefully.

Read More

April 17, 2015

Golden State Bulb At Spring Trials Has Great Appeal For…

While Golden State Bulb is a smaller stop at California Spring Trials, it’s always a treat. You not only get to see less common plants like calla lilies and eucomis, you also get to meet the passionate breeders who developed the plants you’re seeing. For plant geeks, this is a fun stop. First up, the Aloha Lily series of pineapple lily or eucomis was introduced last year, and a new variety, the dark red Kona, joined the lineup. The team at Golden State would like to see this sweet-scented series treated much like orchids by consumers. Like orchids, Aloha Lily does well in low light and has blooms that last two to three months. Now that homeowners have grown accustomed to having orchids, it just may be time to test which other long-flowering plant they would be willing to embrace. Golden State would like to see consumers approach callas in a […]

Read More
PW_calibrachoa_holy moly1

April 17, 2015

Proven Winners Shows Off Its Newest Plant Rock Stars At…

With its wide assortment of plants, great presenters and an amazing location atop a hill at a spa/resort, Proven Winners is a can’t-miss stop during California Spring Trials. The Greenhouse Grower team first visited with Proven Winners’ nursery partner, Spring Meadow, where we got to see the new shrub introductions. Shrubs Proven Winners has two new hydrangea series. The Let’s Dance series is third generation breeding and boasts strong reblooming and a compact habit. The new mountain hydrangea, ‘Tiny Tuff Stuff,’ is another rebloomer and grows to 1.5- to 2-feet tall. Its leaves take on a purple hue when they encounter cool night temperatures. The attractive new Gem Box ilex, an ink berry holly, is suggested as a boxwood replacement for those areas being hit with boxwood blight. It grows to 2- to 4-feet tall and takes full to part sun, but cannot take full shade the way boxwoods can. Spring Meado Nursery  is […]

Read More
Asian-Vegetables-Lettue-Trio-American-Takii

April 16, 2015

American Takii’s Asian Vegetable Line Is Designed…

Unlike many of the other breeders displaying at Spring Trials, American Takii didn’t have many new introductions. But it did have a new program that has prompted many visitors to post to social media — its Asian vegetables. Takii, which is well known for its vegetable breeding, is in the process of vetting the eight to 12 vegetables it will include in the program, and it should have its list fully complete by fall 2015. It is selecting plants that will be easy to use in Asian cooking and will help it stand out from the many vegetable programs in the ornamental market. The Takii marketing team designed bright-red Chinese food takeout containers to act as plant sleeves and a small booklet with five recipes. Honey Chicken With Pak Choy looked especially tasty. Take a look at how the program looks and let us know what you think.       HilverdaKooij is a […]

Read More
HGTV HOME Plant Collection_pre-made succulent container

April 16, 2015

HGTV Incorporates Plants Into Lifestyles And Helps Cons…

When we visited Dummen’s site at Edna Valley Vineyard, the HGTV HOME Plant Collection display was teeming with excited visitors checking out the new varieties, designer mixes and concepts.

Read More
Westhoff_Crazytunia_Swiss Dancer

April 16, 2015

Allan Armitage Finds Some Surprising Intros At Floricul…

Allan Armitage visited three breeders at Spring Trials’ newest location, Floricultura. He found several plants that made Floricultura’s debut a must-stop site in 2015. Westhoff At Westhoff, plant breeding is alive and well, with many things to embrace. The petunia program is vibrant and creative, and I am particularly confident that the Crazytunia program will continue to grow. Crazytunias should fly off the shelves because of their unique colors. Westhoff also brings more standard fare to the table. The Epic series of bacopas have large flowers and should be of particular interest. ‘Epic White’ is particularly nice. And the lobelia in the Hot series has been excellent. ‘Snow White’ adds a good white to the mix. The Hot series does tolerate heat better than most lobelias and now it has a reasonable number of colors. The plant that caught my interest the most this year was ‘Lilac Cascade.’ According to Westhoff, this […]

Read More
westhoff_lilac falls

April 16, 2015

The New Floricultura Stop Showcased A New Interspecific…

Floricultura is a new stop for Spring Trials that hosted Westhoff, Beekenkamp and Plug Connections. It is a welcome addition to the California tour, offering a backdrop of an impressive high-tech greenhouse with orchid production underway within a few feet of the Trial displays. Westhoff The first breeder the Greenhouse Grower team toured, Westhoff, is a relative newcomer to CAST. This German company brings its storied European history of breeding plants (it’s a more-than-100-year-old company) to the U.S. Here in the U.S., Westhoff is best known for its Crazytunia series of petunias, with its vivid and sometimes unexpected colors. It introduced eight new varieties in the series, with ‘Limy’ and ‘Cherry Cheesecake’ getting some pointed attention from attendees. The Hot series of lobelia captured a lot of attention. These lobelias are tested in Florida, Texas, California, Michigan and Colorado, and offer more toughness than we are used to seeing from this genus. The […]

Read More

April 16, 2015

Golden State Bulbs And Sakata: Allan Armitage Highlight…

Dr. Allan Armitage was excited to see both new and improved breeding, as well as have the chance to meet breeders and talk shop at Sakata Seed and Golden State Bulb. Sakata Seed At Sakata, we wandered through traditional crops like zinnias, New Guinea impatiens, calibrachoa and petunias. However, I have always been impressed with the SuperCal program, and this year’s introduction of vibrant colors of Light Yellow and Pink really caught my eye. The flowers of Light Yellow are significantly larger than other colors in the series. I believe the SuperCals are poised for major additional sales. Everybody was talking about ‘Dragon’s Breath’ celosia, and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. It is surely hype-worthy. The plants I observed were large with obvious vigor, and the foliage was coppery with huge, bright, rose-red flowers. Apparently this is a plant that benefits from minimal inputs, such as […]

Read More

April 15, 2015

Redesigned SunPatiens Website Offers New Tools For Saka…

Sakata Seed America's new and improved SunPatiens website launched March 1, 2015 and provides growing information, marketing support, product location and many more tools to encourage consumer success with SunPatiens.

Read More
Farwest2015

April 15, 2015

Online Registration For FarWest 2015 Open, Discount Bef…

Online registration is now open for FarWest 2015, a green industry educational conference and tradeshow, which will take place August 27 to 29 in Portland, Ore. The show promises a full menu of classes, seminars and off-site events, plus a special benefit added this year for attendees.

Read More
Dummen_SunStandingseries_Salmon Pink1

April 15, 2015

Dümmen Group Updates Confetti, Debuts New Mixes And Con…

At two separate locations, the Dümmen Group presented its new take on several lines of plant genetics from the many companies under its brand umbrella. For the second year at Edna Valley Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, the Dummen Group presented new varieties of Red Fox plants, along with the HGTV HOME Plant Collection. Meanwhile, Dummen Group held its second trial location about 30 minutes up the road, at BarrelHouse Brewery in Paso Robles. Both locations were beautiful settings, but the vineyard provided especially lovely panoramic views through the tasting room window.

Read More
CAST15_Suntory_Soiree1

April 15, 2015

McHutchison’s Vaughn Fletcher Reviews New Offerin…

Vaughn Fletcher with McHutchison Horticultural Distributors is part of Greenhouse Grower's Medal Of Excellence For Industry's Choice Panel. Fletcher recounted some of the standout varieties he saw while visiting Suntory Flowers and Westhoff during California Spring Trials.

Read More
Basil_Persian-AAS2015_620x329

April 15, 2015

All-America Selections Launches New Perennial Trial

All-America Selections (AAS) in partnership with Perennial Plant Association (PPA) will launch an herbaceous perennial trial, with entries due this July. It will follow many of the basics of the recently launched AAS Vegetative Ornamental trial. Entries accepted will be herbaceous perennials propagated from seed, cutting, tissue culture or bare root.

Read More
PAC Elsner_Pelargonium 'Bermuda Pink'

April 15, 2015

Kientzler Makes First Independent Display At Spring Tri…

The Spring Trials exhibit at Windmill Nursery in Buellton is a fairly new location as of 2014, and it continues to evolve, with a number of new suppliers presenting their wares. Kientzler, Terra Nova Nurseries and PAC-Elsner presented new varieties while McConkey, Pelemix and Dramm promoted their products.

Read More