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Biocontrol workshop, January 12, 2022

US (NY): “Monitoring for pests in cannabis is regrettably underemphasized”

It is always beneficial for growers to keep up to date when it comes to cannabis pest control, especially concerning biocontrol. Therefore, Sierra Biological, Beneficial Insectary, Global Horticultural, and IPM Labs will soon be hosting their 2022 biocontrol workshop. The free event will occur on January 12th, 2022, and is open to greenhouse growers and IPM techs.

The program
8:15-9:00 AM – Registration

9:00-9:30 AM – 'Selling your board of directors on biocontrol' by Casey Decker, Sierra Biological

Decker: “More and more of the owners of the facilities I work with are people with MBAs, not agricultural degrees. Math is what they understand, so math is what we will give them. When you widen the lens, the net cost of biocontrol can actually be less than conventional pesticide programs. I will discuss how biocontrol affects labor.”

9:30-10:30 AM – 'Reasons biological control can fail' by Greg Bryant, Beneficial Insectary

Bryant: “Even the best-laid plans can sometimes go awry. Here, we’ll go over a few of the most common reasons why biocontrol sometimes doesn’t work the way it should and how to avoid those mistakes. A common misconception is that chemical pesticides and biocontrol are incompatible, but that’s not always the case. We will discuss how and when chemistries are actually encouraged in a successful IPM program.”

10:30-11:15 AM – 'Monitoring for common pests of cannabis' by Sail Alba, Beneficial Insectary

Alba: “Monitoring for pests in the cannabis crop is regrettably underemphasized. Knowing what pests are in the crop, where they are, and the extent of their infestation is key to making treatment decisions. Since biological control is a pest management strategy that works best when used preventatively, growers need to understand that monitoring for pests is the key to its success. The importance of monitoring, the methods used, and the signs and symptoms of the seven most common cannabis pests will be discussed.”

11:15-12:00 PM – 'Banker systems' by Casey Decker, Sierra Biological

Decker: “The use of banker and breeding systems can be a wonderful way to increase efficacy while lowering costs. I will walk you through setting up Oat, Mullen, and Purple Flash systems and Dalotia breeder buckets. We will also discuss common mistakes and hyperparasitoids.”

12:00-1:00 PM – Lunch break

1:00-1:45 PM – 'Quality control of biological control agents' by Kelly Vance, Beneficial Insectary

Vance: “Producing, packaging, and shipping living organisms can be challenging. Growers should have the right tools for assessing the viability of purchased beneficials before beginning a bio program. This discussion will cover the basics for making sure your beneficials arrive healthy and ready to control plant pests. We will discuss the steps taken by producers of BCAs and the routine checks growers should do when receiving their orders.”

1:45-2:30 PM – 'Biological control of common greenhouse pests' by Saul Alba, Beneficial Insectary

Alba: “There are a number of commercially available biological control agents for greenhouse pests. Sierra Biological and Beneficial Insectary offer an arsenal of options. I will introduce some of them and briefly discuss their use.”

2:30-3:00 PM – Break

3:00-3:45 PM – 'New developments with Aphid banker plants' by Carol Glenister, IPM Labs

Glenister: “You need a variety of Aphid parasites to attack all the Aphid species in your greenhouse. Do you want to add Aphidius ervi to your banker plant production? Vigorous Aphidius ervi requires a huge Aphid in order to thrive. I will describe this new system and how it differs from the Bird Cheryy Oat Aphid system. To close, I will share the outcome of our most recent trial with Aphidius matricariae on BCOA, for which we are awaiting the answer.”

3:45-4:30 PM – Open discussion with all of the IPM techs

4:30-5:00 PM – The organizers will be doing the paperwork for continuing education credits at this time. Please have all of your applicator info ready.

Interested in learning more about biocontrol? The workshop will be held at Sierra Biological Inc, 2833 Swett Rd, Lyndonville NY 14098. To register for the event, please email in advance to [email protected].