Battling Broad Mite in Spring Crops

Broad mite, Polyphagotarsonemus latus. Photo credit: USDA BARC

I’ve hearing a lot lately about Broad Mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) in spring crops, especially Reiger begonias and New Guinea impatiens. Other crops that are commonly affected include torenia, exacum, ipomea and gerbera.  

Broad mite are often difficult to detect and control. Read on for tips on monitoring and the latest management strategies for this pest.

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New Virus in Calibrachoa – Identification and Treatment.

Dark green and yellow mottling symptom on foliage. Photo by Heidi Lindberg, MSU Extension.

Several diagnostic labs in the Northeast U.S., as well as our own lab here at the University of Guelph, have received diseased calibrachoa suspected to have chili pepper mild mottle virus (CPMMoV). The supplier has alerted growers of this issue.

Although CPMMoV is NOT a regulated disease by CFIA or the USDA, it can still affect the quality of your crop and lead to losses.

Read on for a link to an excellent blog post on the topic written by Michigan State University Extension. This includes symptoms to look out for, the importance of testing, and what to do if you have it.

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Employment Standards Webinar with the Ministry of Labour – April 12th

OMAFRA and the Ministry of Labour are hosting a webinar on Employment Standards in the Agricultural Sector on April 12th from 10am- 12pm.

The session will provide an overview of:

  • Employer obligations under the Employment Standards Act (ESA)
  • Rights of employees, including Temporary Foreign Workers, under the ESA
  • Exemptions and Exceptions relating to the agricultural sector
  • Temporary Help Agencies, placement employees, and the client business – what are their roles?
  • Obligations relating to COVID-19 and the ESA
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Improperly ventilated heaters & ethylene damage

Spring is almost here…we hope! We’re reposting this article on poor air quality damage on spring bedding crops as we’ve seen some damage again this year.  Symptoms, solutions and preventative measures are listed below. If you think you have a problem, please contact a licensed contractor to inspect your heating system.

Natural gas and propane are popular choices when it comes to heating a greenhouse.  The products of burning fuel are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20); both compounds we know are good for your plants.  However, combustion is often (if not always) incomplete, and impurities such as carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ethylene (C2H4) are also released leading to poor air quality if your heater is not properly vented.

Typically symptoms from ethylene damage and sulfur dioxide damage can been seen fairly quickly after exposure.

Figure 1. Signs of ethylene damage include leaf curling and epinasty, seen here in A) New Guinea Impatiens and B) lettuce seedlings.

In the short term (a few hours to a few days), ethylene damage results in leaf curling, epinasty (leaves bending downwards from the petiole) and flower drop.  If the stress continues over a longer period (several days to a week or more), plants can take a long time to flower, or not flower at all.  Ethylene levels as low as 0.01 parts per million (ppm) can create symptoms in sensitive species. Levels are usually highest near the heater and can be diluted by air circulation.

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Upcoming Webinar: Root Rots – What You Can’t See CAN Hurt you.

Its a busy time in the greenhouse, but our next topic is timely! Rot rots like Fusarium, Pythium and black root rot are often the bane of spring bedding crops. Dr. Mary Hausbeck, a Distinguished Professor from Michigan State University, is going to share her vast knowledge on this topic, including which fungicides work best. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to register!

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COVID-19 Updates with WSIB Webinar – March 22nd

OMAFRA and WSIB are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 12:00PM to provide information that will help protect workers and assist agri-food stakeholders throughout the changing pandemic.  The session will provide an overview of:

  • A review on reporting claims
  • A reviews on coverage for Temporary Foreign Workers
  • Updates on COVID-19 and WSIB
  • Online Services for Businesses

There will also be time for questions and discussion.

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Upcoming Webinar: Making Sense of Lighting During Propagation

Its a busy time in the greenhouse, but we hope you’ll make some time to listen to our next webinar, focused on using supplemental lighting in greenhouse propagation. Dr. Erik Runkle and Dr. Roberto Lopez from Michigan State University, join us to share their vast knowledge on this topic. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to register!

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VRIC’s Pest Management Survey – It Counts!

Are you a Canadian greenhouse ornamental grower? Then the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is currently looking for your feed back on your pest management practices. Whether you practice biocontrol or lean more heavily into chemical control, your answers help set benchmarks for where are industry is at, and help guide research needs.

The survey only takes about 15 minutes, and can be accessed here. The deadline for the survey has been extended to January 21st, and you can win $400 prize for completing it. (How often can you win money talking about bugs?!?!).

More information on the survey, including contact info, is below.

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Webinar this THURDAY: Making the Most of Spraying in Covered Crops (including Cannabis)

As anyone growing greenhouse vegetables, floriculture or cannabis crops knows, most pesticide application information out there is NOT geared towards covered crops. To help growers improve spray coverage and product efficacy of both conventional and microbial pesticides, Niagara College’s Cannabis Program has put together a webinar of experts. Together, they have over 100 years of combined pesticide application experience (*insert joke about how old they all are here*).

The panel includes both government and industry experts, including Dr. Jason Deveau from OMAFRA, Dr. Michael Brownbridge from BioWorks, and Louis Damm from the Dram Corporation. This webinar will focus on cannabis as a model crop, but much this information is highly applicable to floriculture as well.

Read on for information on this free webinar (no registration required).

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