New tool can help identify gaps in your pest management program

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.

What Is it, Exactly?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and sector organizations, has released voluntary sector-specific biosecurity guides for producers in the greenhouse vegetable, nursery, and floriculture sectors. The guides support the National Voluntary Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard for the Greenhouse, Nursery and Floriculture Sectors that was released in March 2016.

Are there opportunities on your farm to step up your sanitation?  The Floriculture Guide can help identify key areas to focus on.

Essentially, The Floriculture Guide, in combination with the Standard, assists producers by:

  • Raising awareness of biosecurity risks and the measures that can help reduce the risk of pest introduction and spread.
  • Providing a nationally consistent approach to develop and implement a biosecurity plan in the sector.

How Do I Use It?

This Guide has been organized into the following sections:

  • Education, Training and Communication
  • Greenhouse Location and Layout
  • High-Risk Areas
  • Movement of People, Equipment and Vehicles
  • Maintenance
  • Production Inputs
  • Plant Health
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Production Outputs
Example of signage that can be used in a greenhouse to help control access to high risk areas (e.g. highly susceptible plants or an area with an easily-spread pest issue).

For each section (a.k.a step along the production chain), the guide identifies expected risks, and gives practical guidelines for mitigating these them.

Owners/Growers should use the self-assessment checklists at the end of each section to ask themselves if they’ve adequately covered risks in all areas of their facility.

Alternatively, you can also use this interactive version of the Floriculture Guide checklists to form a self action plan. (Note that you will need Adobe Reader 11 or higher to use this.  If it doesn’t display properly, you may need to right click on it and save it, then open the file directly from Adobe Reader.)


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