Botrytis Bumming You Out?

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Botrytis spots on Primula petals.

With the intense period of rain we just had, and with MORE rain coming on Friday, it’s time to think about Botrytis control and prevention.  One of the most common and destructive diseases of greenhouse crops, outbreaks usually follow periods of cool, damp, cloudy weather.  Unfortunately, I can’t order up more sun for you, but I CAN suggest some management tactics.

 

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New tool can help identify gaps in your pest management program

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Do you have a strategy to help mitigate pests coming into your facility, like dipping cuttings upon receipt?

The CFIA has recently released the Floriculture Sector Biosecurity Guide.  Despite it’s imposing name, this is an excellent “road map” to help protect your facility from unwanted pests.  The Guide offers biosecurity strategies from the time plants come in the front door ’till they’re out in the compost bin.

Don’t have a facility-wide Pest Management Program in place?  This guide can provide the framework. (Why start from scratch?).  Already have a strategy to mitigate risks from pests at your farm?  Compare YOUR plan with the Floriculture Guide to see if you’ve overlooked anything.

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Workshop on Water Quality Testing next week!

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3M Petri Films are an easy to use tool in on-farm water quality testing.

Want to know when and where pathogen problems are building BEFORE they start? Interested in setting up your own water quality testing program that’s both easy and cost effective?

For those of you attending my IPM Workshop on Friday, you’ll get a bit of a taste of the tools to help you do this that have recently been developed by Flowers Canada, the Soil Research Group and other collaborators.

For those of you who are missing my workshop, or want more hands-on, in-depth information on this topic, then come to the “Greenhouse Water Quality Workshop” being run on Feb. 24.  Read on for more details.

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Leafminer control in Ontario’s greenhouse crops -what’s working?

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Fig. 1. Leaf mines on gerbera leaves.

As much as we all hate thrips, there are, frankly, worse problems to have.  And it’s name is Leafminer.  These flies cause just about the ugliest damage we see in floriculture (Fig. 1), and they have incredible pesticide-resistance capabilities. Outbreaks seem to go in cycles, and I’ve had quite a few gerbera and mum crops come across my desk with leafminer this past 2 weeks.

This post covers chemical options (BawHawHawHa!!! Oh… Sorry… I’ll get myself under control now) and non-chemical options for leafminer, as well as how their control fits into the big picture in greenhouse IPM programs.  

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Mealybugs…on poinsettia??

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Citrus mealybug feeding on a flower stem.

Last year several consultants and I noticed something strange.  A number of greenhouses in Ontario had noticeable infestations of mealybug in their poinsettia crop.  This was the first time many in their 25+ year careers had seen this (e.g. see Mel Sawaya’s article in Greenhouse Canada Magazine).

It’s unclear yet if phenomenon will repeat itself this year (or perhaps affect even more operations), but growers should be on the lookout for this pest. Keep reading for more information about the potential cause of these mealybug infestations, and possible solutions.

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“Sticking” it to high populations of thrips in greenhouse crops.

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Can patterned tapes significantly improve thrips catches?

You’ve likely noticed by now that thrips populations are especially high because of the hot, dry summer. Many growers are noticing their usual biocontrol programs can’t keep up, and further defenses are needed this year.

The use of mass trapping strategies may be the key to getting an edge over thrips. This post discusses the latest research on mass trapping of thrips in ornamentals, including patterned sticky tapes and the use of pheromones.  

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