Nursery Greenhouse and Turf Continuing Education Conference - Presented by Helena Chemical Company

Notes from Nursery Greenhouse and Turf Continuing Education Conference

Summaries below were based on notes taken from the Nursery Greenhouse and Turf Continuing Education Conference, held in Tyler, TX (June 21, 2016), put on by Helena Chemical Company.


Herbicide Fate

by Dr. Brad Shaver

Incorporating Biopesticides into a Conventional Program

by Dr. Debbie Sanders

Overview of Revisions to EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard

by Mark Evans

Mites & Pest Management on Ornamentals

by Dr. Carlos Bogran

Interpreting Pesticide Labels and Sprayer Calibration

by Dr. Casey Reynolds

Herbicide Fate

Dr. Brad Shaver
Helena Chemical Company

Things that can happen to an active ingredient:
Factors affecting foliar uptake:
Root uptake can be affected by:
If a product instructs that rainfall or watering down is required after application, the product could degrade on the soil surface if you don’t water it down. Need to get a.i. down to the roots.

Transportation processes - herbicides can end up moving directly off site via:
Volatility can account for 90% loss of active ingredient (NCSU)!
Drift, such as atmospheric losses and off-site movement. Affected by environmental conditions and application techniques.
Runoff affected by climatic conditions, soil factors, chemical properties, site and application management. Be extra cautious of runoff to ponds/tanks, can kill aquatic life and if used for irrigation, can destroy an entire crop.

Different ways chemicals can interact with your leaf surface or soil particles:

Some terminology:

The process of how a chemical associated with a surface
Accumulation (adhesion) of a substance onto another surface (soil, air, water) (chemical adsorption is passive)
Uptake or intake of particle

Convection: Mass flow of chemical with soil solution
Diffusion: slow movement of chemical molecules over short distances

Risk of runoff decreases with time after application.

Soil Conditions that impact risk of runoff:
Chemical properties of the active ingredient that impact risk of runoff:
What is Koc (Sorption coefficient)?
Less than 500 Koc considered high risk for leaching.
Why it’s so important to look at the label for things like buffer zones or warning for leaching

Leaching is:
Site and Application Management:
RTFL – Read the Freaking Label

Types of A.I. Degradation

Chemical degradation:
Chemical degradation is affected by:

  • Soil chemical properties
  • Herbicide formulation

Herbicide persistence in the soil actively relies on a threshold level of a.i. and is measure by T1/2 (half-life)

Examples of Herbicide Half-Lives:
Two products containing the exact SAME active (i.e. Triclopyr butoxyethyl), but slightly different formulations (ester vs. salt), can drastically increase half-life the product (39 days vs 139 days).

Need to weigh out benefits of longer persistence with ‘cost’ with leaching possibility.

Incorporating Biopesticides into a Conventional Program

Dr. Debbie Sanders

Reasons growers start using bio-pesticides:
Preconceptions and Myths of Bio-pesticides:
General best-use practices:
Use appropriate formulation for the job:
Test new products small scale before adoption:
Proper application:

BioWorks also has a beneficial insects compatibility chart with their products.

Attributes of Bio-pesticides:

Exampls of bio-pesticides

Beauvaria bassianaAzadirachtin
  • Very effective against whitefly
  • Mortality not immediate, takes 3 – 7 days
  • Sporulation is not a measure of efficacy
  • Insect growth regulators extracted from neem seeds
  • Actives as insect growth regulator, can act as feeding and oviposition deterrent, repellent.

Pre-emulsified oils go into solution better and have small particles, so they spread more, and greater chance of covering the insect. Better respiration and transpiration on your plant.

Bio-Fungicides suppress plant diseases:

  • Acts via two or more modes of action
  • Act preventatively rather than curatively (most)
  • Are effective at low to moderate disease pressure
What Bio-pesticides CAN’T do:

General characteristics of soil/root biofungicides:

  • May act quickly or after a lag period
  • Typically act via 2 or more modes of action
  • Good distribution and proper concentration are critical

If populations of the pest/disease are really high, consider first a knockdown via synthetic products, and then use biopesticide for continued suppression.

Tips for starting your own biopesticide program:

1. Think proactive or preventative: exclusion, sanitation, environment

2. Properly identify the disease and the pest issues (don’t assume)

Overview of Revisions to EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard: 40 CFR 170

Mark Evans
Texas Department of Agriculture

Please Note: These are notes taken from the talk given by Mark Evans. By providing these notes, we are in no way guaranteeing that they are accurate. Please consult EPA, TDA, or the Texas A&M Agricultural and Environmental Safety Unit resources or personnel for accurate information.

Key Links:

Regulation Revisions Comparison Chart
Comparison of current regulations and new regulations in PDF format, published by the EPA.

Pesticide Application Data Sheet (2015)

Texas Pesticide Application Data Sheet can be downloaded at:

A lot of revisions not effective until January 2017 and some until January 2018.

TDA required to do a certain number of inspections every year

  • In general, will call before they come to visit; gives you time to ‘get ready’. But you should always be ready.
  • Can do unannounced visits; usually the result of a complaint. Should be ready with your records and everything in place.

Definition of immediate family has expanded to:

  • grandchildren, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces/nephews, step-parents, first cousins
Three Main Take-Aways:

DISPOSE – Don’t take the risk of storing stuff you know you’re never going to use. Dispose of it appropriately. We used to have a program (Free) for annual pickup of products that growers wanted to dispose of – it was cut a few years back due to budget cuts, but may be re-instated next legislative session.

Who is covered by the Rule (WPS):
Who is protected?
Relationship between pesticide labeling & WPS

WPS Revisions
Goal: reduce risk of pesticide exposure

Pesticide Safety Training:
Who is qualified to do the training:
Warning Signage Revision:

Employees requiring respirators for applications will have to pass a “fit test” and medical evaluation

Minimum age is now 18

Application Exclusion Zones (AEZ) in Outdoor Production could be up to 100ft beyond where the application is taken place that is included in the REI area.

Decontamination supply requirements:

January 1, 2016 – Revised WPS final rule becomes effective
January 1, 2017 – Compliance is required with most of the revised WPS requirements


Richard Pont
Nancy Fitz

Mites & Pest Management on Ornamentals

Dr. Carlos Bogran


  • Not insects
  • They have eight legs
  • Body divided into two parts
  • Large group: 50,000+ species

What mites do?

  • Many are beneficial that feed on dead stuff or fungi and help break it down
  • There are mites that are also parasites

Two major groups: Parasitiformes and Acariformes

  • Acariformes includes the Prostigmata, which includes most of the plant-feeding mites.
  • Beneficial mites and predatory mites have some distinct shapes
  • Plant-mite have short stubby legs, predatory mites have longer legs (need good legs to go hunting)
Phytophagous mite species:

Citrus leprosis or nail head rust is vectored by mites
Recent invasive: the red palm mite

Tetranychidae (spider mites):
Two-spotted spider mite (T. urticae):

Spider mites are like an avalanche! When the population gets going, their population grows very rapidly.

Growing indoors: temperature management is part of spider mite control. It will be really hard to control spider mites if temp is high, because you are getting really high reproduction

Warmer and drier areas in the greenhouse had higher mite infestations (Poncet et al. 2007)

Can have different populations within a greenhouse that are resistant to different acaricides.

Can get very little movement of spider mites between populations within a greenhouse.

If you have no control, often have poor acaricide coverage

Excellent products:

  • Floramite, Pylon, Avid, TetraSan, Sanmite, Akari, Insecticidal Soap, M-Pede, Judo
  • Good products: Shuttle-O, insecticidal oils/soaps

Always rotate modes of action group numbers: Even if active ingredients are different, and the Mode of Action is the same you may be selecting for insecticide resistance

Potential reasons for weak control:
Predatory mites: Phytoseiidae:

Koppert Side Effects Database: Some chemicals can be used in addition or in conjunction with biological control.

Manipulating crop fertilization to enhance management:
Eliminate sources of pest infestation:
Pesticide administration:
Integration of tools and tactics:

Interpreting Pesticide Labels and Sprayer Calibration

Dr. Casey Reynolds
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Excellent resource for interpreting pesticide labels – Crop Data Management Systems: – Newly updated website. Have over 100 weeds up there.

  • We often just glance at the label for the rate, where we can spray it and what it will control
  • The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): established in 1947 and states that pesticides moving in interstate commerce must be registered with the USDA
  • In 1972, Congress passed the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (FEPCA), which says that the federal government will be involved in all aspects of pesticides to include manufacturing, shipment, application, storage, and disposal.

When you receive the product, you are in a contract with the federal government that you will abide by the label.

FEPCA impacts on applicators: The pesticide label is a legal document and using the product in a manner inconsistent with the label is a violation of federal law

If you are applying labels correctly, you have pesticide labels, pesticide records, etc. then you’re good. Much better than not being sure whether you have labels or when you last sprayed, especially for protection against lawsuits.

Dr. Casey gets a call at least once a year from attorneys for potential misuse of pesticides.

All pesticides must be classified as either general use or restricted use. Restricted use pesticides can only be applied by, or used under, the direct supervision of a certified applicator.

Persons that do not obey the law will be subjected to penalties to include fines and/or jail terms:

  • Civil penalties up to $5,000 per offense
  • riminal penalties up to $25,000 and/or up to 1 year in prison

Dr. Reynolds hasn’t seen a single person go to prison (since he started in 1996).

Very few cases actually go to court, but can happen.

Pesticide labels often contain a large amount of pertinent information relative to product application and success.

Trade Name: The commercial name given by a company.


  • Flowable or Aqueous Suspension (F, L, or AS)
  • Emulsifiable concentrate (E or EC)
  • Water-soluable Concentrate (WSC)


  • Water dispersible Granule (WDG)
  • Dry flowable (DF)
  • Wettable Powder (WP or W)
Why is it important to know dry vs. liquid:
Interpreting Pesticide Labels:

Area * Rate * Analysis to calculate how much product you need to put out (assumes the label does not give you a use rate).

Sometimes the “Formulation” (i.e. Disarm C, Disarm M, or Disarm 480 SC) may be related to items under the ingredients list. Look at formulations and also lbs of active per gallon of different products to determine most economic option.

PPEPerson Protective Equipment
REI – Restricted Entry Interval

When you are sending employees out to spray, be sure to provide employees with the PPE on the insecticide labels.
– Disgruntled ex-employees and even ex-wives often call regulators (i.e. TDA) to inform them of lack of PPE.

What are some things (other than rate) that we can change to increase effectiveness of sprays?

Be sure to check label for pesticide compatibility. Most products are safe to spray with each other, but check the label for that.

Spray Adjuvants:

  • The label will advise certain surfactants that will drastically increase control
  • Be sure to use the right type of adjuvant for the product you are spraying

Label will tell you what species it can control and what rates to use.

Precautions and suggestions:

  • i.e. mowing prior to or immediately after product application
  • will provide other tips of do’s or don’ts to increase chance of effective application

Irrigation/Rainfall: will advise whether AI needs to be watered down to the roots in order to be effective.

Where is the target organism? Is your insecticide getting to your target?

Temperature: Not going to get control when it’s cold for weed control

Sprayer/Spreader Economics: How can we change spray volume (GPA)?

Following equation for boom sprayers with multiple nozzles. Does not work with single nozzle sprayer:
GPA = (GPM x 5940)/(MPHxNSI)
or GPM – (GPA x MPG x NSI)/5940

Gallons per acre
Gallons per minute
Miles per hour
nozzle spacing in inches

Nozzles with larger spray volumes and larger drop sizes will have less drift.

Step 1. Collect information information from above:

  • tank volume: 250 gallons
  • nozzle spacing: 20 inches
  • easy to get consistent speed (timed steps or speed on a vehicle)

GPA = 0.1 x 5940 / 4 mph x 20”


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