Protected Agriculture Standard: Important Information about Dye Test Audits for Growers

We’ve written before about the National Protected Agriculture Standard and what it means for greenhouse floriculture growers. The standard, which is administered by CropLife Canada, comes into effect January 1, 2024. The goal is to keep plant protection products where they are applied.

In order to purchase pesticides going forward, your farm will need to be certified under the program as of January 1, 2024. All greenhouse growers who self-identify as having a recirculating (closed-loop) irrigation system need to register and complete an audit by December 31, 2023 to be certified. Open system growers will need to obtain an exemption in order to continue purchasing products. Greenhouse grown cut flowers and hoop houses that do not recirculate their water are currently out of scope, but they will be added to the standard in the near future.

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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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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 and a link to the recording.

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Proposed Protected Agriculture Stewardship Standards are Open for Comment

Over the last several years, CropLife Canada and various grower groups have been working to develop a certification program for greenhouses and other protected agriculture producers to reduce the risk of nutrients and pest management products leaving the farm with irrigation water. This work was initiated after imidacloprid was found in high levels in some waterways in Ontario and British Columbia. A draft was released in 2020 for public consultation, and feedback has been incorporated into the latest draft which is now available for comment.

Growers that use recirculating flood floors will be captured under the new certification program.

The first stage of the proposed water standard affects greenhouse producers who have recirculating irrigation systems. All growers who self-identify as having a closed-loop irrigation system will need to have passed an audit by December 31, 2023. You can find details on the specific definition of closed-loop in the proposed standard, but generally it includes growers with recirculating systems such as flood floors, flood benches and troughs. All greenhouse growers with these irrigation systems will need to be certified under the program – by successfully completing an audit, or by completing a self declaration indicating that their farm has an open irrigation system– by December 31, 2023.  If a farm has not taken either of these measures, they may be prevented from purchasing pesticides for use in their greenhouses.

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Can We Improve Pesticide Application in Greenhouse Ornamentals?

As anyone battelling whitefly on poinsettia this season can attest to, good pesticide coverage in ornamental crops can be challenging. Hydraulic sprayers are the industry standard, but does that mean they’re the best option? Where does sprayer technology need to go in the future to get growers better results?

This summer, Dr. Jason Deveau, OMAFRA’s official “Spray Guy”, and myself did a trial at a local greenhouse with some experimental equipment to try and answer these questions. The results were intriguing, to say the least.

For all the details on this trial, check out the link to Jason’s blog post, below.

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The Whitefly “Tipping Point”and Testing Pesticides in Poinsettia

It’s that time of year again where you have to make a choice with your poinsettia. Do you stay the course with natural enemies, or abandon your bio program and spray  for whitefly? And spray with WHAT?

This post has tips on how to test pesticides NOW, so that when it comes down to the wire, you’ll know what is – and isn’t – working.

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Comparing Biocontrol to Pesticides for Bemisia Whitefly Control in Poinsettia

P1020349

T’is poinsettia sticking season once again, and the question always comes down to the same thing: do I use chemicals to control Bemisia whitefly and hope it works this year? Or do I switch to biological control?  Here we show some head to head comparisons that can help you decide.

An in-depth discussion of this topic was also captured by MSU’s “Bug Bites” last year, and I’ve included the video below.

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NEW: Free Online IPM Training for Greenhouse Staff

Need a refresher on specific pests of floriculture, and what to do about them? Want to see how Canada – a world leader in biological control in ornamental crops – does things?

Then the following IPM training videos, made by specialists and consultants in Ontario, are for you!

Keep reading to learn how to access these videos, and the topics they cover.

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OMAFRA Controlled Environment Agriculture Webinar Series: spraying in CEA – June 24, 12-1 pm

OMAFRA controlled environment agriculture webinar series logo

Interested in learning more about effective spraying in controlled environment agriculture? Tune in at noon this Thursday with host Dr. Fadi Al-Daoud and co-host Dr. Andrew Wylie for a presentation by OMAFRA’s application specialist Dr. Jason Deveau specific to closed environments:

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Japanese Beetle Control: 2021 Considerations

japanese beetle_daveIt will soon be that time of year again, when Japanese beetle adults begin to fly!

However, the cooler spring means pupation may take longer. So what does that mean for timing of control products?

This post answers those questions and provides current infographics for JB control for those exporting to non-JB areas.

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