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Daryl Johnson, Bioline AgroSciences:

“With these pests, growers often don’t know they have a problem until it’s a big problem”

“The bad news is that some cannabis pests are often not detected until it’s too late. The good news is that we have solutions to help growers overcome these pest pressures,” says Daryl Johnson, National Sales Manager of Bioline AgroSciences. The company produces invertebrate beneficial predatory bugs, mites, and insects at a mass scale to utilize in battling pests. “Our mission is to provide biological technology solutions to growers’ pest problems so that they can efficiently and sustainably produce high-yield crops without the negative environmental impact.”

The benefits of biocontrol
According to Daryl, biological control remains a strong point of any cannabis IPM program since there is a need for strong IPM and less traditional alternatives than other more established crop systems. “There is a lot of demand for our product in the cannabis industry because of the significant shortage of chemical availability, as well as limits in allotted chemical usage dependent on local/governmental legislation. Moreover, biocontrol affords flexibility for growers and not only reduces the negative environmental footprint of using conventional chemicals on a large scale, but pests do not become resistant to our predators like they would with conventional chemistries.”

Cannabis pests
Daryl explains that the most common pests among cannabis growers are aphids, spider mites, and thrips. While they are most commonly observed, the worst pests to have in this particular crop are russet mites and root aphids. “Due to their extremely small size and short reproductive timeline, growers often don’t know they have a problem until it’s a big problem. This is the bad news. The good news is that we have solutions to help growers overcome these pest pressures. Preventative steps that are taken early on in each of the crop growth stages can reduce the risk and severity of these pests.”

Tomato russet mite and aphids

Transitioning to biocontrol
So what should a grower consider when they want to transition to a biocontrol IPM program? “The first thing to consider is knowledge of when to release the biocontrol agents (BCAs) and what all the known pests are for their grow,” Daryl explains. “Moreover, the most common early-stage challenge is new pests. This is because oftentimes, chemicals being used to combat certain pests likely also keep other pests out of the crop inadvertently. The best advice is to account for all the pests that can show up in the crop so that prevention measures can be taken, reducing ‘surprise infestations.’”

Daryl adds that in order to help growers optimize their use of biocontrol, Bioline AgroSciences doesn’t just simply offer a predator or parasitoid, and they don’t believe that ‘a bug is just a bug.’ “The release technology that goes along with the BCAs, the technical support and advising to ensure a quality program, using the right BCA(s) at the right time, and the quality of our BCAs based on the way we rear them, is what sets us apart. We strongly believe in the added value that our products offer our growers in both their environmental footprint and their ability to create a more efficient crop-growing climate for both the crops and the growers.”

Fast delivery
Daryl adds that Bioline understands how important it is for their customers to have fresh products. “That is why we have eight factories across the world, three of which are located in California. Approximately 80% (and growing) of our portfolio can be delivered the very next day. No longer does a grower need to resort to spraying if they find a hot spot of pests in their crop. They can call us and have their product the next day. If growers are interested in a safe and effective way to control pests in their crops, they can reach us at Their message will be directed to the corresponding IPM Technical Specialist in their region.”

For more information:
Bioline AgroSciences

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