Category Archives: Growers

Blogs for growers.

Biocontrols Conference – Advanced Biocontrol Workshop Notes

Speakers:

Doug Barrow

Biological Crop Protection Specialist, Biobest USA Inc.

Kelly Vance

Technical Support, Beneficial Insectary

Ronald Valentin

Technical Lead, Bioline AgroSciences

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans

Ornamental Entomologist, Buglady Consulting

Tim Engelkes

R&D Entomology, Koppert Biological Systems Inc.

Continue reading Biocontrols Conference – Advanced Biocontrol Workshop Notes

Notes from BWI Grower Seminar

A seminar for greenhouse and nursery growers was recently held in Buda TX (01/24/2017) and Tyler TX (01/25/2017). Summary notes and relevant resources related to the talks can be found below.

Talks:

Plant Protection of Insect and Mite Pests

by Dr. Raymond Cloyd

Minimizing Disease Preventatively: The role of the environment

by Dr. Ann Chase

Best Rotation Programs to Avoid Resistance

by Dr. Raymond Cloyd

Preventative vs Curative Fungicides and Rotations

by Dr. Ann Chase

Laws & Regulations

by Ms. Morgan Scott/Ms. Katherine Newton

Continue reading Notes from BWI Grower Seminar

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.

Talks:

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

Continue reading Notes from Nursery Greenhouse and Turf Continuing Education Conference

What’s the Buzz about the Bees

The Beepocalypse

 A quick glance at the news paints a grim picture for bees in the future, with title articles such as “Honey, we shrunk the bees: mass extinction threat for beloved insect?”, “The bee all end all: why should we care that the bees are dying?” and “Dying honeybees, and the uncertain future of honey” make us feel like we are on an inevitable slope to losing all of our bees and horrible puns (including this article’s title) simultaneously. Bee health started becoming a great cause of public concern around 2006, when colonies were seemingly left completely abandoned, with capped brood and queen bees still in the hive. Beekeepers were losing more than double the accepted colony loss rate (15% to >30%) Continue reading What’s the Buzz about the Bees

Insecticide Resistance Action Committee

If you are using pesticides on a regular basis (i.e. a weekly rotation), it’s vital that you rotate your chemicals in order to decrease the change of your pest becoming resistant.

Pesticide resistance is not uncommon among insects. According to “Global Pesticide Resistance in Arthropods” (Whalon et al., 2008), there have been over 7747 insecticide resistance cases reported! Continue reading Insecticide Resistance Action Committee

Quality Control of Biological Control

Unlike chemical insecticides, biological control products often contain a living organism. These living organisms are typically reared on artificial diets in controlled environments to sustain a high quality consistent product. However, rearing living organisms is a lot more finicky than mixing chemicals to make a chemical insecticide. The size of the organism, the female to male ratio, their lifespan, and rate of release can all affect the efficacy of the biological control.  Although the biocontrol companies do some quality control work on their end, the product may decrease in quality through shipment. That’s why it is encouraged that growers do a quality control check on their biological controls to ensure that they’ve received a quality product.

A research scientist, Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, from the Vineland Research and Innovation Center has put together a nifty publication Continue reading Quality Control of Biological Control

‘Natural’ Pesticides – Softer on good insects?

There is an increasing trend towards organic and natural products – from food, cosmetics, and even down to the choice in pesticides. It’s not uncommon for people to lean towards or prefer a pesticide that is ‘natural’. After all, an unnatural pesticide will be more harmful, right? However, there’s a discrepancy between perceived safety of ‘natural’ and the reality. For starters, there seems to be no regulation on the word “natural”. As the FDA puts it,

Continue reading ‘Natural’ Pesticides – Softer on good insects?

Crape myrtle bark scale efficacy trial

Summary:

Efficacy of a horticultural oil + insect growth regulator mix (SuffOil-X + Molt-X) and two imidacloprid formulations (Bayer Tree and Shrub; Fertilome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench) were tested for control of bark scale (Eriococcus lagerostroemia) on crapemyrtles at LeTourneau University. There was a trend towards decreasing alive scales and decreasing alive:dead scale ratio with time, especially by the fifth week in all treatments (including the control). The systemic insecticides (imidacloprid) demonstrated a decrease in alive:dead scale ratio two weeks after treatment, whereas contact treatments showed a decrease one week after treatment (horticultural oil + insect growth regulator). Since the control also showed decrease in scale populations, in some cases before other treatments, the efficacy of the insecticides studied here are inconclusive.

Continue reading Crape myrtle bark scale efficacy trial

Spotted Wing Drosophila in Texas

Snapshot:

Drosophila suzukii, Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), is an invasive pest that attacks several soft-bodied fruit, such as cherries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes.  Similar in size to the common fruit fly, except the females have a serrated ovipositor (organ used for depositing eggs), allowing them to lay eggs in fruit just before harvest.  As a result, the fruit can be unfit for fresh markets by the time they are harvested, resulting in crop loss.  If you would like to send samples to confirm SWD identification, please use the spotted wing drosophila submission form.

Continue reading Spotted Wing Drosophila in Texas