Page 10 - Griffin Gazette
P. 10

Biocontrol Programs
and Pesticides:
A Place for Both?

                                                                                                                        By Rick Yates,
                                                                                                                        GGSPro Technical Services Manager
                                                                                                                        Growers who are committed to
                                                                                                                        biocontrol programs utilizing BCAs
                                                                                                                        (biological control agents) have typically
                                                                                                                        made a conscious decision to reduce
                                                                                                                        or eliminate pesticide usage, so why
                                                                                                                        even consider integrating pesticides?
                                                                                                                        Integrated pest management (IPM)
                                                                                                                        includes a variety of tactics that interact
                                                                                           with each other. This includes, on occasion, beneficial insects,
                                                                                           nematodes and/or mites in use with certain pesticides. Some
                                                                                           possible scenarios include:
                                                                                           •	 A rapid change from cool to warm conditions causes the
                                                                                              pest population to reproduce faster than the predators. This
                                                                                              often happens with aphids in the spring, when the weather
                                                                                              suddenly breaks.
                                                                                           •	 Unanticipated BCA shortages in the middle of a biocontrol
                                                                                              program can threaten the success of the control efforts.
                                                                                              The biocontrol companies generally do a very good job but
                                                                                              shortages still occur. A few years ago, a volcanic eruption in
                                                                                              Iceland stopped shipping from Europe for a period of time!
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