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Grower Guide: quality assurance of biocontrols

January 15, 2015  By Dave Harrison

Encarsia container set-up (Vineland Research and Innovation Centre); and Encarsia formosa closeup (Biobest Canada).

Jan. 15, 2015, Vineland Station, Ont. — Successful biocontrol programs are dependent on a number of factors, but good quality natural enemies are fundamental. However, as living organisms, biocontrol products are subject to variability caused by various factors, starting at the insectary where they are reared through to the crop where they are released.

The guide was a collaboration by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Flowers Canada Ontario, Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers and IPM Florida, USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Extension IPM.

“Growers should open packages upon arrival to provide a better environment for the biocontrol agents and to detect any potential problems related to shipping conditions (too warm, too cold, wet, bad smell),” notes the report.


“In an ideal situation, growers would perform quality checks on every biocontrol product they receive as quality will directly impact efficacy; a shipment of poor – quality can result in failure to control the target pest. If a quality issue is detected the grower can react proactively, adjusting release rates accordingly.”

Click here for the report.

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