October 2016 – In early July 2016, after a very hot and dry start to the summer, reports emerged from a number of greenhouse flower growers of a sudden increase in western flower thrips being caught on sticky traps. This subsequently led to pest establishment and the sudden appearance of (sometimes) severe damage in a number of ornamental crops.
Aug. 23, 2016 – The The Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA) has been working over the past 15 years to promote awareness of the effectiveness of biopesticides and their full range of benefits in a progressive pest management program.
August 2016 – Crop Defenders Ltd. considers pest management as having three major foundations: (1) good cleanout, (2) proficient scouting, and (3) timely/proactive treatment with biological control agents (biologicals).
April 14, 2016, Berkel en Rodenrijs, the Netherlands — Koppert Biological Systems is introducing high definition videos that feature the most prevalent pests and their natural enemies in the lead roles.
Whitefly is proving to be one of the most difficult pests to control, mainly due to the lack of effective registered chemicals that can eradicate silverleaf whitefly. It is also due to the unwillingness of biological suppliers to bring Eretmocerus mundus back to the market – the only predator proven to be effective against this pest.
Orius insidiosus, also called Flower Bug or Minute Pirate Bug, is a local species of the United States and Canada. Most North American farmers are well aware of the importance and effectiveness of this species. Orius plays a vital role in controlling insect and mite pests on greenhouse crops as well as home gardens. Moreover, this bug is well known for its compatibility to work with other specialist and generalist predators.
When we talk about “biocontrol,” we’re normally referring to insect biological control agents such as Encarsia formosa, Amblyseius cucumeris (now a.k.a. Neoseiulus cucumeris) or Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Hypoaspis miles, or whatever it is called this week).
March 3, 2016 — The latest e-GRO Alert has timely advice on monitoring hanging baskets, with tips on avoiding (unpleasant) surprises when you scout your crop.
Jan. 29, 2016, Vineland Station, Ont. — Greenhouse IPM will be the focus of a Feb. 25 workshop at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.
Dec. 21, 2015, Mississauga, Ont. — For over a century, chemical pesticides have been in use to control pests and increase crop yield. However, chemical pesticides present a number of problems that negatively affect the environment, as well as creating health risks for consumers and agricultural labour.
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.

Dec. 4, 2015, St. Catharines, Ont. — Microbials are effective tools in greenhouse vegetable production, notes Leamington area grower Norm Hansen, a speaker at this year's Greenhouse Canada Grower Day.

The PMRA has posted a list of microbials on its website. This is an important resource for growers who want to be aware of everything that's available and the various active ingredients. It's even more important when using microbials because they're alive and there has to be a certain set of conditions in place for them to work effectively.

"Do your own confirmation research," Hansen said. "Make sure you test them to be sure they work under your conditions."

Norm Hansen is a cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University, and a graduate of the University of Windsor. He has spent his years since graduating teaching, growing cut flowers, and most recently, growing organic greenhouse vegetables. He is the director of research and development for Erieview Acres.

Erieview Acres is the premier Leamington area grower of certified organic greenhouse vegetables. Currently they grow in 8.5 acres of greenhouses at two locations.

Erieview Acres has collaborated with the Harrow Research Centre, the Vineland Research Center, the University of Guelph, and the University of Windsor on various research projects.
Dec. 4, 2015, St. Catharines, Ont. — During his presentation at this year's Greenhouse Canada Grower Day in St. Catharines, greenhouse crop specialist James Kowalski said microbials are gaining in popularity and hold great potential.

Kowalski works currently as a technical sales specialist for Monsanto Company’s BioAg Diversified Specialty Markets division.

He said there are a number of reasons microbial use in horticulture is gaining in popularity. "It's my opinion that industry movement towards more sustainable growing practices and the lessening of any environmental impact are key...There is so much to be discovered and improved with microbes in horticulture. It is truly in its infancy and the next decade and beyond will yield amazing advancements."

Kowalski specializes in greenhouse and nursery markets; his territory includes Eastern Canada, Great Lakes, Upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Texas and several Mountain States. He has worked with biocontrols since 2002 after joining his family’s company, Natural Industries. Current products represented include Met 52 Bioinsecticide and Actinovate SP Fungicide. 

Kowalski attended Texas A&M University in College Station Texas and currently resides in Spring, Texas.
Dec. 2, 2015, St. Catharines, Ont. — Longtime flower grower Albert Grimm discussed the use of microbials in ornamental crops during his presentation at this year's Greenhouse Canada Grower Day.

As with any biocontrol, you have to have faith it was developed, packed, shipped and stored correctly. "Efficacy is very difficult to assess," Grimm noted during his presentation. "They do something, but how much have they done?"

Grimm is a horticulturist by both trade and passion. He graduated from an apprenticeship in Germany, and since then has worked in many areas of horticulture production. He moved to Canada in the late 1980s and spent several years in greenhouse production in Quebec, before settling in southern Ontario.

His perspective on horticulture comes from his interest in science. As a young person, he could not afford university, so he began working in greenhouses while hoping for a more interesting career option to become available. However his years of working in greenhouses soon sparked a fascination with plants and the realization that greenhouse production is an almost limitless platform for applied science.

More than 30 years later, this passion for plants is still alive! Grimm has spent a lot of time working with ornamental, vegetable and nursery crops. He has been working as head grower for Jeffery’s Greenhouses Inc. of St. Catharines since 1998.

This is the third in a series of interviews with speakers at this year's event. For more on Grower Day, see our feature in the October 2015 edition, starting on page 14.
Dec. 3, 2015, Simcoe, Ont. — Dr. Anissa Poleatewich had the topic, "Understanding microbials in greenhouse production" during this year's Greenhouse Canada Grower Day.

"Basically, you're using beneficial organisms to suppress pest organisms."

Poleatewich joined Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2011 as a Research Scientist – Plant Pathology within the Horticultural Production Systems Department.

Her program is focused on the development of microbial biological controls and other reduced-risk management strategies as well as research to increase knowledge of the impact, biology and management of key diseases of ornamental and horticultural crops. Another key area of research is determination of races of the rose black spot pathogen in Canada. 

Her lab also collaborates with the Vineland breeding program to screen cold hardy roses for disease resistance.

Poleatewich received an MS and PhD in plant pathology from the Pennsylvania State University. Her graduate research focused on biological control of plant pathogens and weeds. She worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Penn State University teaching a senior undergraduate and graduate level plant pathology course. 

She has also served as a Master Gardener and was involved in community outreach related to agriculture and gardening.  

She is actively engaged in professional society service and is currently a board member of American Phytopathology Society’s Office of Education and the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science.

This is the second in a series of interviews with speakers at this year's event. For more on Grower Day, see our feature in the October 2015 edition, starting on page 14.

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