Page 16 - Griffin Gazette Q4 2017
P. 16

By Tami Van Gaal,   sticking or transplant, and continuing at   Now that we understand the need to focus
                           CEA Division      regular intervals until the crop is harvested.   on prevention when using BCAs, we can
                           Leader            Early prevention is especially important   discuss the best options for preventative
                                             when there is no effective chemical control   use. BCAs are generally not crop specific.
                           Most growers pro-
                           ducing edible and   option available for a crop.      With a few exceptions, what works great in
                           medicinal crops uti-  One of the biggest mistakes growers can   lettuce will also work great in tomatoes and
                           lize biological con-  make  when utilizing  BCAs is  to  delay  the   medicinal crops. Remember that BCAs
                           trol agents (BCAs)   first release until the pest is present in   target insect and mite pests – these tiny
                           as part of their in-  the production space. Waiting becomes   warriors do not sting or bite the people
                           tegrated pest man-  problematic for two reasons. First, delayed   working in the crop.
         agement plans for a number of reasons.   release risks establishment of the pest   Aphids – Parasitoid wasps are the primary
         Top concerns include a desire to reduce    within the crop. Second, delivery of BCAs   preventative tool for aphid control. A blend
         chemical pesticide use, a lack of effective    requires a little planning. With the exception   of two species of wasps, Aphidius colemani
         and allowed products for a specific crop,   of beneficial nematodes, BCAs can't   and A. ervi, is a perfect choice for prevention,
         and a need to slow the development of    be stored in advance of use. And, most   providing protection against a wide variety
         resistance within a pest population. The   BCAs need to be ordered by mid-week for   of small and large aphid species. Aphidius
         BCA species used will depend on the target   delivery the following week. The risk is that   ships as parasitized aphids, called aphid
         pests and the crop production methods.   if one waits until the pest is seen to order   mummies. The adults will emerge after
         Think of BCAs as a protective shield over   BCAs, it’s possible that more than a week   shipping  and  are  simply  released  into
         the crop. This shield is most effective if   will pass before the BCAs are delivered. It’s   the crop. Release is particularly easy
         it’s in place before the pests are present.   far better to order in advance for known   with  A. colemani blister packs.  Aphidius
         Therefore, the best plans will call for a   crop cycles. Some growers place routine   are effective in both greenhouse and
         focus on prevention over curative control,   orders weeks or months in advance. Talk to   warehouse situations, and are most
         achieved by releasing BCAs at sowing,   your Griffin sales representative to put this   commonly used with lettuce, leafy greens,
                                             practice in place for your operation.   herbs, peppers, medicinal marijuana and

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