Last updated 9/26/2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

6:30 am
Tour Registration/Check-in
7:00 am
Tour Bus Load In
7:15 am
Tour Bus Departs Hotel
8:00 am
Biocontrol Field Tour (Additional fee)

See firsthand examples of how some of Western New York’s top fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse growers are successfully putting biocontrol to work in both conventional and organic operations.

Intergrow Greenhouses Inc.

Broccolo Garden Center

Wegmans Organic Farm

Cornell Agritech/New Your State Agricultural Experiment Station

Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard

Thursday, October 11, 2018

8:00 am
Registration & Expo Opens
8:45 am
9:00 am
Keynote – The Retailer’s Perspective: Why Wegmans’ Partners Use Softer Chemistries

David Corsi
Vice President Produce & Floral Merchandising, Wegmans Food Markets

Mike Kreher
Partner, Kreher Family Farms

Arnott K. Duncan
Chief Executive Officer, Duncan Family Farms

Biologicals and softer crop protection are more than just a production tool. They’re also a strategy that is increasingly meaningful to retailers and the consumers they serve. Learn from Wegmans, one of the leading supermarket chains in the Eastern U.S., about how the company works closely with its grower partners to ensure quality produce and sustainably grown flowers, fruit, and vegetables. We’ll also talk with some of those growers about how they use biological products to meet the retailer’s commitment to its customers and the environment. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding about how biological tools and the message they send can be a very useful alternative for your operation.

9:45 am
How to Trial Biocontrols Products in Your Field or Greenhouse

Matthew Krause
Biological Program Manager, Plant Pathology, BioWorks, Inc.

Lida Sladkova
Trial Manager at Research & Development, Metrolina Greenhouses, Inc.

Growers and consultants are familiar with the tried and true methods for field testing conventional crop protection products. It’s often pretty simple to tell what’s working and what isn’t. Trialing biological products, on the other hand, can present a whole different set of challenges. Learn first hand from experts in the field and greenhouse on the steps you should take to design a useful trial and understand the results from the data you gather.

10:30 am
Break – Visit the Expo
11:00 am
Biocontrol Products You Need to Know for 2019

Moderated by Richard Jones
Executive Editor, U.S. Horticulture Group, Meister Media Worldwide

Learn about the best new and soon-to-be released biopesticide, biochemical, microbial, and biostimulants technologies for the upcoming season. Experts from some of the world’s leading biological products suppliers will walk attendees through the latest technology in pest management that you can put to work in your operation in 2019.

12:00 pm
Lunch – Visit the Expo
1:30 pm

Breakout Sessions – Two Concurrent Tracks

Protected Production

How to Build a Standing Army of Natural Enemies to Protect Your Greenhouse Crops

Dr. Amir Grosman
Senior Research Entomologist Biocontrol, BioBee

By using an alternative food that enables natural enemies to establish on your vegetable crops before pests infiltrate your greenhouse, you can substantially increase the odds for successful biocontrol. This presentation will review different methods of early establishment of natural enemies on a given crop (edible and non-edible), focusing on systems that are currently available on the market. You’ll learn strategies for feeding predatory mites, minute pirate bugs, and mirid bugs that can build a strong offense against thrips, whiteflies, and spider mites.

Calculate the Cost of Your IPM Program

Paul Koole
Technical Team Coordinator – North America, Biobest USA Inc.

The cost of any crop protection program goes beyond simply assessing the price of the products you’re using. Is your integrated pest management (IPM) program is a cost-effective way of controlling pests? In this session, you’ll learn all the factors you should include in calculating the cost of pest control to determine the true costs and benefits of IPM, and ensure you’re making the most effective and profitable decisions for your operation.

Biological Pest Control: Inventory Management Strategies

Ronald Valentin
Head Technical Support – North America, Bioline Agrosciences

With the increasing acreage devoted to edible and cannabis crops in the greenhouse, and additional attention toward developing biological growing practices throughout agriculture, we’re seeing unintended consequences for growers, including competition for resources. One example is being able to get the pest control materials you need when you need them. Biological Control producers , in particular, need lead timeto produce the required quantities of BCA’s. With over 40 species of BCA’s produced for protected crops, which each have their own production requirements (lead time to increase production is depending on species), planning and forecasting is critical to ensure supply to the end user. BCA products are an important part of pest management these days, but they are perishable and once produced, they need to be used or go to waste. Very different from traditional pesticides which have shelf-life.  BCA’s are much more similar to young plant production, collaboration between growers and producers to plan production will improve availability and reduce risks of not being able to get the necessary products for a successful pest management program. One other significant key factor is that supply also needs to be consistent as ‘holes’ in the program also can lead to a compromised, or worse, failure of the pest management program. Bioline’s Ron Valentin will discuss the importance of grower planning for purposes of availability of biological control agents (BCAs).

Tree Fruit

Spotted Lanternfly – A Pest You Need to Know About

Heather Leach
Spotted Lanternfly Extension Associate, Pennsylvania State University

Spotted lanternfly, a new invasive pest, was recently found in the Finger Lakes in New York. Spotted lanternfly nymphs and adults feeds on sap from over 70 different plants, including grapevines, apple, and peach. In this talk you will learn about how to scout for egg masses and signs of feeding. You will also learn what biological controls are labeled for use against spotted lanternfly and how best to use them.

Biological Control and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Peter J. Jentsch
Senior Research Associate, Department of Entomology, Cornell University

The invasive brown marmorated stink bug has emerged to be a significant challenge for vegetable and tree fruit growers in the Northeast. Researchers at Cornell University’s Hudson Valley Research Laboratory are studying the efficacy of biological controls with various biological target sites reducing the impact of the BMSB in agricultural systems. In this session you will learn how the use of biopesticides targeted as anti-feedents can reduce late-season stink bug feeding on your crops, and how the Samurai Wasp, Trissolcus japonicus, is being used as a BMSB biocontrol.

Evaluating Biocontrols for Managing Fire Blight

Kerik Cox
Associate Professor, Cornell University

Fire blight has long been a devastating disorder for apples and pears, particularly in the growing conditions of the Eastern U.S. Most conventional tree fruit growers opt for antibiotics. But, antibiotic resistance is becoming more of an issue, and the products are no longer allowed at all in organic production. In this session, we take a look at the latest research on biological controls for fire blight and discuss how effective they can be in your orchard next season.

3:00 pm
Break – Visit the Expo
3:30 pm

Breakout Sessions – Two Concurrent Tracks


Cucurbit Powdery Mildew: How Do Biocontrols Fit?

Amara Dunn
Biocontrol Specialist, New York State Integrated Pest Management Program

Cucurbit powdery mildew is a significant challenge for most vegetable growers in the Eastern U.S. Research at Cornell University is looking in detail at how effective different biological controls are in combating the fungus, when used in rotation with either organic or conventional pesticides. You’ll gain insights from research about what biopesticides add to your cucurbit powdery mildew management program, and how they can potentially help you this coming season.

A Full Season of Healthy Tomato Production Using only Biocontrols

Steve Bogash
Territory Business Manager, Marrone Bio Innovations

Producing sustainable yields of high quality tomatoes using only biocontrol (plus a bit of copper) is possible. Learn how you can manage common tomato pests and diseases like early blight, late blight, Septoria leaf spot, Botrytis, and bacterial speck, spot, and canker. Managing soil-borne diseases and nematodes using only biocontrols is also within our grasp. In this session we will discuss biopesticides and their usages along with general practices that will allow tomato — and pepper — growers to get through an entire season with a profitable crop.

An Experienced Biocontrol Grower Adapts to the East

Kelsey Neppel
Agronomist/PCA, Duncan Family Farms

Duncan Family Farm, an organic operation, has been using biocontrols for years in its Western U.S. locations. When it opened farms on the East Coast, it faced new conditions, requiring new techniques in using biocontrols. Learn how this biocontrols-experienced team is using weed control to manage insect pests, and how they are taking advantage of the regional abundance of insectaries and natural predators. You will also hear first-hand about other sustainable practices that are working well for this New York grower.

Small Fruit

Biopesticides and Control of SWD

Dr. Philip Fanning
Research Associate, Michigan State University

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a significant pest of soft‐skinned fruit in the Eastern U.S. Larvae of SWD develop within the fruit making it unmarketable as fresh berries and increasing the risk of rejection by processors. Work at Michigan State University evaluated selected biopesticides for control of SWD in fall red raspberries. You’ll see trial results in this session highlighting a number of biopesticides with the potential to reduce infestation of Drosophila larvae in raspberries and protect your crop.

Grape Pests and Biocontrol

Chris Becker
Research Scientist, BAAR Scientific LLC

Eastern grapes for juice or wine have to contend with a challenging mix of disease and insect problems each season, from powdery mildew, downy mildew and botrytis to grape berry moth and leafhoppers. Each pest has biopesticides that fit well into commercial programs. This session will provide you with information on the biology of the pests and a useful overview of the mode of action of the available biopesticides that can help you produce a quality crop next season.

How I Integrated Biocontrols on My Family’s Farm (and You Can, Too)

Tom Heeman
Field Manager, Heeman’s Strawberry Farm

Integrating biocontrols for strawberry insect pest and disease control takes an IPM mindset. Biocontrols can be your first line of defense in Integrated Pest Management against lygus bugs, spider mites, and more.  In this session, we will explore the lessons I have learned in taking a biorational approach, and how to introduce these products successfully on your own farm.

5:30 – 7:00 pm
Networking Reception

Friday, October 12, 2018

8:00 am
Registration & Expo Opens
8:30 am

Breakout Sessions – Two Concurrent Tracks

Greenhouse Ornamentals

Protecting Your Cuttings: A Dip in the System

Michael Brownbridge
Research Dir., Horticultural Production Systems, Vineland Research and innovation Centre

Dipping cuttings in biopesticides is a great way to eliminate pests on propagative material coming into the greenhouse and help biocontrol strategies implemented later in the production cycle to have a higher likelihood of success. It is quick, and readily integrated into the general work flow. This presentation will explain the what’s, why’s, and how’s of dipping cuttings. You will see results from research and commercial trials, and gain insights that will help you integrate this step into your broader crop management program.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Microbial Biopesticides

Suzanne Wainwright-Evans
Buglady Consulting

Learn what you need to know about the ins and outs of all the different microbial biopesticides on the market for greenhouse production, and how you can use them most effectively in your operation’s IPM line-up. In this session, we’ll discuss active ingredients registered for edible and non-edible crops, and how they can be used to ensure efficacy.

Machine Vision, Drones, and Natural Enemies: The Next Step in Protecting Your Crop

Christian Nansen 
Associate Professor, UC Davis

Crop Monitoring for detection and diagnosis of pest outbreaks is a critical task. But labor costs and a lack of skilled workers make this an area that’s ripe for the adoption of new technologies. In this session you’ll learn about university research being done with drones and machine vision and their potential for precision application of inputs when and where they are needed, allowing you to significantly increase the performance and economic feasibility of using natural enemies.


Biocontrol and Disease Management in Organic Vegetable Crops: A Case Study

Sarah Pethybridge
Assistant Professor (Plant Pathology), Cornell AgriTech at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University

This presentation on exciting new research from Cornell will cover the efficacy and reliability of OMRI-approved products for two priority diseases for New York vegetable growers, white mold of bean and Cercospora leaf spot of table beet. White mold is caused by the fungus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Infection of snap bean flowers leads to a lower number of marketable pods because of premature pod abscission. When disease severity is high the crop may be considered unviable to harvest. Cercospora leaf spot causes defoliation of table beet resulting in the inability to harvest the crop using top-pulling machinery. You’ll leave this session with a primer on integrated control of these diseases for your organic vegetable production systems.

Challenges of Organic Apple Production – Which Diseases Are Major Players and What Are Our Control Options?

Dr. Srdjan G. Acimovic
Plant Pathologist, Cornell University, Hudson Valley Research Laboratory

Besides fire blight and apple scab, cedar apple rust, leaf spots, and different fruit rots can be important limiting factors in organic apple production at different locations in New York and the Eastern U. S. These diseases have been increasing in incidence and economic impact over the last three years in conventional and organic orchards. In this session, we will review major disease challenges in organic apple production and present new research on biological and alternative management options and their efficacy.

The Intersection of Biocontrol and Organics

Margaret Tuttle McGrath
Associate Professor, Cornell University

Fungicides with microbial biocontrol agents as the active ingredient are one of the two major types of biopesticides. Many products are now available and most are approved for organic production. In this session, you will learn about biopesticides including how they work, which ones are not allowed in organic disease management and why, how biopesticides have performed in field trials, and tips to maximize success with them. Focus will be on diseases of vegetables.

10:30 am
Break – Visit the Expo
11:00 am
Biostimulants: What You Need to Know

Moderated by Gregory G. Clarke, PhD
Field Market Development Specialist, Valent U.S.A. LLC

Jeff Alicandro
Crop Consultant, agr. assistance

Ethan Grundberg
Vegetable Crops Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Neil Mattson
Associate Professor, Cornell University

Biostimulants are the next wave of biological tools that growers are considering to help produce a quality crop. But incorporating them in your production isn’t always quite as intuitive as applying biopesticides or other products. They aren’t fertilizers, but they can help plants take up nutrients more efficiently. And they aren’t pesticides, but they can often help lead to stronger, healthier plants that are less susceptible to pests. In this session, you’ll learn from experts in fruit, vegetable, and even ornamental production about what these products are, what they do, how to make decisions about what products to apply, and how to evaluate the results with biostimulants in your crop.

12:00 pm
Conference Adjourns
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Post-Event Workshop (Additional fees)

Demystification of Biopesticides for Managing Pests in Fruit and Vegetables (Optional)

Chris Becker
Research Scientist, BAAR Scientific LLC

The number of biopesticides available for fruit and vegetable growers is increasing rapidly. But to have success, you need to understand the ins and outs of not only the products, but also the pests you’re trying to manage.

Instructor Chris Becker has conducted field research with biopesticides for more than 10 years; his goal is to help you develop a working knowledge of common biopesticides. In this in-depth workshop session, he will present both basic and detailed information about these products to help you understand which products will manage which pests.

This informative workshop will cover the major pests for the most common fruits and vegetables produced in the Northeastern U.S.  Knowledge about pest life cycles is especially important in the selection and timing of biopesticides, so abundant photos and illustrations of key pests and their life cycles will be presented.  You’ll go home with useful and reusable handouts, and a deeper understanding of the attributes of the common biopesticides, including mode of action, formulation, and optimum application timing.