Greenhouse Grower Notes:February 2007

January 21, 2008
Written by Graeme Murphy and Wayne Brown
“A Japanese Beetle Management Plan is a document that lists how the greenhouse facility will meet all the criteria necessary for the certification program applied for. It may seem like a lot of work, but when looked at closely, it can be done fairly quickly.”

Last month we discussed Japanese Beetle (JB) and its implications (from a growing and shipping perspective) for greenhouse growers. We finished that article with the comment that applications for certification under one of the various JB programs must be made by April 1, 2007, and that as part of that application, a JB Management Plan had to be completed by the grower. In this article we will attempt to demystify the management plan process and hopefully make it a little easier.

If you remember from last month’s article, there are potentially three different JB Certification Programs that a grower may want to apply for. It is unlikely that all three programs would be applied for by any one grower (but that’s not out of the question); more likely is that a grower may need to apply for two of them. If that is the case, separate application forms and Management Plans will need to be completed. The Certification Programs most likely to be applied for by greenhouse growers are:

1. The JB Free Greenhouse/Screenhouse Program. This is for growers who are producing grasses and sedges in the greenhouse and shipping from a JB-infested area. It is the most rigorous of the certification programs, but also the least likely to be applied for.

2. The JB Greenhouse Plant Program. This is for growers who are growing and shipping product as in #1 above, but do not grow grasses or sedges.

4. The JB Containerized Nursery Stock Program. This is for those growers exporting plant material that has been grown outside, such as fall mums, pansies, hydrangeas and calluna. (It may seem odd to designate this as #4, but we have done this specifically to match up with the CFIA Directive, which has these programs under the same numbered appendices as above.)

Firstly, let’s answer the question: what is a JB Management Plan and what do I need to include? (OK so that was two questions.) The first thing you should do is print a copy of the CFIA Directive, which is on the Internet at www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/protect/dir/d-96-15e.shtml and read it. Yes, the Directive is quite long (almost 40 pages), but most of those are appendices, so it is not quite as bad as it may seem.

Very simply, the JB Management Plan is a document that lists how the greenhouse facility will meet all the criteria necessary for the certification program applied for. As such, it addresses all the criteria listed in Appendices 1, 2 and 4 in the CFIA Directive for the above three programs. There is no template provided in the Directive that outlines a correct way to do it, so it is very much left up to the individual grower. The following outline lists suggestions as to how this can be done. Remember, however, that every production facility is unique and don’t be afraid to adjust to suit your situation.

Prepare a map of the greenhouse and outdoor production areas. (This is only a requirement for the Programs 2 and 4 above, but it would be useful to have on file anyway, no matter which programs are applied for.)

Growing media
A statement is needed here (for certification in all of the above programs) on the type of growing media being used and its source. Commercial soilless mixes are exempt (but you must state if that is what you are using), but other mixes that include soil, humus, compost or manure must have been sterilized. Documentation of the sterilizing procedure should be included.

The type of statement could read: “All growing media is a peat-based soilless mix,” or “all soil used in growing media mixes is steam sterilized on the facility to a temperature of xºC.”

Plant material
This applies to all programs above that state that “plants must be bare-root before planting into the sterilized or commercially processed or prepared soil-free media.” Plant material from JB-free areas (e.g., Europe, California) or approved facilities is permitted.

The statement could read: “Crops are produced from soil-free cuttings or from seed” or “This crop was grown from plugs produced in an approved facility (give greenhouse name)” or “the plugs for this crop were produced in California, a JB-free area.”

(A combination of the above statements may be needed if multiple crops are being grown.)

GREENHOUSE SECURITY
The certified crop
For Programs 1 and 2, the containerized plants must be maintained within the greenhouse (or screenhouse) at all times. A simple statement to that effect is needed.

Greenhouse construction
(NB: this is for Program 1 only.) A statement is needed that the criteria has been met for the screening of all openings and double door entry. An additional statement, such as “Inspection of all screens and entry areas is conducted at the beginning of each JB flight period (June 15 to Sept. 30) and monthly during that period, to ensure that they are in good repair,” may also be useful, but is not required as part of the management plan.

Other plant material
For Programs 1 and 2, a statement is needed to the effect that, “no plant material that may potentially be infested with JB is allowed into the greenhouse at any time.”

Storage, packing and shipping
For Programs 1 and 2, plants (and growing media) must be stored, packed and shipped in a manner to prevent possible infestation.

A description is needed here of the measures taken to ensure that this is done. It could be something like: “Greenhouse entry doors and interior doors are kept closed when not in use. Plants are packed in a clean, well-lit and well-maintained area, shipped in closed boxes and transported in a truck that remains closed (unless opened for official inspection).”

Additional shipping requirements for Programs 1 and 2, state that plants may not be transported into or through any JB-infested area unless identity is preserved and adequate safeguards are applied to prevent infestation. A statement needs to be added as to how this will be done. For example, if a truck leaves your greenhouse but is planning to stop to pick up another load, the statement could read, “all plants are shipped in taped cardboard boxes and labelled with the greenhouse name. Additional plants will be added to the load at another JB-certified greenhouse (give greenhouse name).”

Vegetation-free border
For Programs 2 and 4, a vegetation-free border is required around the greenhouse (Program 2) or the outdoor production area (Program 4). The border should be identified on the map, and under this section, a note as to how the area will be maintained; e.g., “the area will be inspected prior to the start of the JB adult flight period, and monthly during that period, and weeds will be controlled as necessary.”

Containers grown outdoors (Program 4) must also be kept weed-free. A statement describing regular monitoring and control of weeds in the growing containers should be included.

Monitoring
For Programs 1 and 2, a JB monitoring program in the greenhouse or screenhouse is required. Under this heading, give a detailed description of the monitoring program with information such as: frequency (weekly), what is done (root inspections for larvae, visual inspections for adults), training given to other staff to enable them to identify JB if seen. If JB is seen in crops certified under Programs 1 or 2, the CFIA must be notified immediately.

All the above are only suggestions that can be adapted for individual situations. It may seem like a lot of work, but when looked at closely, it can be done fairly quickly. If you have questions, feel free to contact us for advice, but remember that in the end, CFIA has the final word on whether your management plan is
sufficient. For more information, visit the CFIA website at www.inspection.gc.ca where you can find the JB Directive, or contact details for your local CFIA office if you have questions for them.

Graeme Murphy is the greenhouse floriculture IPM specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at Vineland. • 905-562-4141, ext. 106, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wayne Brown is the greenhouse floriculture specialist with Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at Vineland. • 905-562-4141, ext. 179, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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