With the holiday season over, it’s time to turn our attention to Spring bedding crops. Although here for a brief window, the diversity of these crops means you’re bound to encounter some sort of disease and insect problems.
One way you can head off issues is to plan and prepare now. This post has important tips on sanitation for common spring crop diseases, dipsandearly sprays to prevent key pests, as well as tips on where to spend your biocontrol dollars.
Here in Canada, we’ve been talking for years about research on the highly effective method of dipping your poinsettia cuttings in low-risk pesticides to reduce starting whitefly populations.
Thanks to Dr. Rose Buitenhuis (VRIC), Cary Gates (FCO) and BioWorks, the label for BotaniGard WP has now officially been expanded to include dip applications. This now adds to our arsenal (see below for more dip products).
Read on for the current BotaniGard label and how dipping can help improve your Bemisia whitefly program this year, whether you’re using pesticides or biocontrol.
Many of you will be getting in your poinsettia cuttings a few short weeks from now. Why not head off whitefly issues as soon as the points come in the door?
Whitefly on poinsettia. Photo by Graeme Murphy.
Drs. Rose Buitenhuis and Michael Brownbridge of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre put on their thinking caps and came up with an elegant solution to prophylactically treat the whitefly that inevitably come in with poinsettia cuttings. By dipping cuttings in reduced-risk insecticidal products (BotaniGard, horticultural oils) before sticking, whitefly populations can be reduced in the crop by over 70%. And, because the dip materials are “soft” pest control products, you can (and should) begin your biocontrol program immediately. Dips should be effective against both biotypes Bemisia (aka silverleaf whitefly), as well as greenhouse whitefly.