Dec. 4, 2015, St. Catharines, Ont. — Biopesticides work best when used in a preventive manner, notes Dr. Michael Brownbridge, a speaker at this year's Greenhouse Canada Grower Day.
They are generally compatible with other beneficials (predators and parasitoids) and also with many pesticides, which makes them an ideal fit for IPM programs.
The short re-entry intervals after application makes them easy to work with on a day-to-day basis, and they can be used right up to the day of harvest.
Timing of their application is important because different insect stages are more susceptible than others.
Work at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has found that biopesticide dips are an effective strategy in controlling whiteflies on poinsettia cuttings.
After working in Israel, Kenya, the U.S. and New Zealand, Brownbridge joined the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre as research director in Horticultural Production Systems in July 2009.
Research activities of this group encompass development of biocontrol-based IPM systems for greenhouse ornamentals and vegetables. His current research program focuses on development of microbial control strategies for key greenhouse pests, and includes work on application techniques and integration of biopesticides into greenhouse production systems.
Most recently, this work has evolved to include assessments of beneficial microbes that activate host plant defenses and to determine their role in IPM systems. Key pest targets include thrips, aphids, whiteflies and spider mites. The overarching objective is to improve the performance and economic sustainability of biological control strategies, ensuring that new procedures, products and information enable growers to successfully protect their crops.
Video report: optimizing microbials in greenhouse IPM
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