Learn everything you need to know about biocontrols from the experts.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

7:30 am – 8:00 am

Tour Registration

7:30 am – 8:00 am

Bus Loading – Location: Directly outside of Sunset Foyer. You must check in at registration prior to boarding the bus.

8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Biocontrols Conference Registration

8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Field Tour

Biocontrol in the Field: Real World Applications You Can Use in Vegetable, Fruit, and Ornamental Production

Hop on the bus for a valuable series of stops that will help you improve how you use biocontrol. You’ll visit produce and greenhouse operations and learn firsthand how these growers are successfully incorporating biological products in their production systems. Each stop on this day-long tour will include a demonstration of biocontrol techniques and provide lessons you can put to work immediately in your own operation.

Tour Stops Include:

  • The Plug Connection
  • The Garrett Ranch
  • UC Riverside
  • Wilson Creek Winery

Thursday, March 8, 2018

7:00 am – 5:30 pm


Visit the Expo/Coffee Service

8:00 am

Richard JonesU.S. Horticulture Group, Meister Media Worldwide, Inc.

8:15 am

The Retailer and Consumer Perspective

The demand for softer crop protection programs continues to grow, driven by expectations of today’s consumers and the retailers serving them.

Hear from retailers about the standards they set for the produce they buy, and how biocontrol fits into the present and future of their expectations for growers.

Presenters include:
Tim DamicoCertis USA
Amanda RasterThe Sustainability Consortium
Arthij van der Veer  – MPS – More Profitable Sustainability 

9:15 am

Biocontrols and Organics
Moderator: Carol Miller American Vegetable Grower, Meister Media Worldwide, Inc.

Organic production is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture and biocontrol is a key element of organic programs. Whether you’re looking to transition acreage into organic production or you’re an experienced organic grower or consultant, learn the latest advances that biocontrol can bring to your operation.

Presenters include:
Alan Boyce – Materra Farming Company
Gerald Davis Grimmway Farms
Arnott Duncan – Duncan Family Farms
Anthony Duttle – Tanimura & Antle

10:15 am

Visit the Expo/Coffee Break

11:00 am

Biocontrol Products You Need to Know for 2018
Moderator: Richard JonesU.S. Horticulture Group, Meister Media Worldwide, Inc.

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 2018.

12:00 pm

Lunch/Visit the Expo

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Greenhouse Application Equipment & Biocontrol
Moderator: David EddyWestern Fruit GrowerMeister Media Worldwide, Inc.
Kurt BeckerDramm Corporation

There are many different types of spray equipment for application in greenhouses, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. When you add in the sensitivities of biocontrol agents, choosing the right machine is important. Dramm’s Kurt Becker will discuss various types of equipment, from hydraulic sprayers to thermal foggers and low volume equipment, that can be used in biocontrol application, as well the limits of these tools that can contribute to application failures and how to overcome them. In this session you will learn how to achieve maximum results by selecting the right equipment for the product you’re applying, the pest you’re trying to control, and the conditions you’re working in.

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Delivery of Semiochemicals for Pest Management: Dispensers, Sprays and the Future
Moderator: David EddyWestern Fruit GrowerMeister Media Worldwide, Inc.
Bradley HigbeeTrécé Inc.

Semiochemicals such as pheromones and kairomones are growing quickly into the mainstream of pest management tools, particularly in tree crops. As new active compounds are discovered, delivery of these behavior modifying agents becomes a critical component of a successful product. There are a number of platforms presently used, but more efficient and effective ways to produce and deliver these solutions would make these technologies even more practical. This session will explore the advantages and disadvantages of some of the present delivery systems and what may be in store for the future.

2:30 pm

Visit the Expo/Coffee Break

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Breakout Sessions
Vegetables and Biocontrol

Moderator: Carol MillerAmerican Vegetable Grower, Meister Media Worldwide, Inc.

3:00 pm – 3:40 pm

Grower’s Take: How to Trial Biocontrols on Your Farm
Kim HortonGrimmway Farms

Kim Horton says there is a lot of good biocontrol research trial information available to most growers, but less so for vegetable crops. That makes finding out which solutions will work best for your own vegetable operation a challenge. She will explain how she applies good lab techniques to field-level testing, from how she selects which products to trial, to which data she selects, and how she keeps the rest of the team in the loop on each trial’s progress and results.

3:40 pm – 4:20 pm

Microbials and IPM: What, When, Why, Where, and How?
Surendra K. DaraUniversity of California Cooperative Extension

Microbial pesticides can be effective tools in IPM programs for a variety of crops. Understanding the microorganisms, their mode of infection, use and application strategies will help explore their full potential in crop production and protection. In this session, you’ll learn about the different types of microbial control agents (MCA) and their infection process, the role of MCAs in IPM and insecticide resistance management, when and where MCAs can be used, their suitability in different crop and pest situations, and information on proper handling and application, compatibility with other materials, and application timing.

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm

Incorporating Biological Control into Farming Practices
Vonny M. BarlowUniversity of California, Davis

There is a need to find alternatives for the control of agricultural pests that replace hazardous insecticides (carbamates and organophsophates) which are generally considered highly toxic to biological control agents due to their broad spectrum of activity and loss of their registration due to the Food Quality and Protection Act. The integration of compatible chemical applications with augmentative inundative releases of biological control organisms has the potential for increased control of agricultural pests. Chemistries with unique modes of action (e.g.spinosad and methoxyfenozide) that are environmentally and toxicologically reduced risk material. The aim of integrated biological control is to combine reduced risk materials with biological control organisms for an additive control of agricultural pests.

Protected Production and Biocontrol: Ornamentals, Greenhouse Vegetables, and Cannabis

Moderator: Laura DrotleffGreenhouse GrowerMeister Media Worldwide, Inc.

3:00 pm – 3:40 pm

Biocontrol Basics: Starting and Staying Clean – the Importance of Sanitation in Biocontrol Programs
Kelly Vance Beneficial Insectary

Cultural control is the foundation of the integrated pest management pyramid. Pathogens affect not only the crop, but also the biological control agents (BCAs) growers purchase to control plant parasites. Therefore, sanitation is critical in reliably producing pathogen-free plants. In this session, growers will learn about vectors of destructive plant and arthropod pathogens, cultural practices to control them, and how to establish and maintain scheduled sanitation programs to keep their plants and BCAs healthy and clean.

3:40 pm – 4:20 pm

Biocontrol Basics: Effective Banker Plant Systems and Supplemental Feeding of Biological Control Agents
Suzanne Wainwright-EvansBuglady Consulting
Paul KooleBiobest USA Inc.

In recent years, there has been increased use of banker plant systems and supplemental feeding in biocontrol programs. Benefits from healthier biocontrol agents and economic savings are the driving forces behind this. Come learn which banker plant systems are working and tips to make them successful in real world growing situations. Want to learn how to soup up your beneficials?  Learn about the latest research on supplemental feeding and which products are available.

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm

Biocontrol Basics: Commercial lnsectary to Greenhouse – Tips from Beneficial lnsect Producers
Lynn LeBeck – Association of Natural Biocontrol Producers (ANBP)
Brian Spencer – Applied Bio-nomics Ltd.

Ever wondered about where all of those “good bugs” that you use in your greenhouse come from and how they’re produced to supply you with a reliable and consistent source of biological control?

Join ANBP’s Lynn LeBeck and Applied Bio-nomic’s Brian Spencer to learn about production challenges for beneficial and predatory insects, and how the commercial insectary industry works to help growers buy and use high quality biological control agents (BCAs). Assessing your BCA shipment and learning when and how to apply them to your plants is key to effective management.

Lynn and Brian will examine different pest control scenarios and provide you with insights on finding the right product and tips on how to use it for your pest management needs.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Networking Reception

Grab a drink and join your fellow attendees, speakers, and biocontrol suppliers on the Expo floor to discuss the lessons of the day and make valuable new connections.

Friday, March 9, 2018

7:30 am – 12:00 pm


Visit the Expo/Coffee Service

8:30 – 10:30 am
Breakout Sessions
Greenhouse Ornamentals and Biocontrol

Moderator: Laura DrotleffGreenhouse GrowerMeister Media Worldwide, Inc.

8:30 – 9:10 am

Biological control-based IPM of thrips, a systems approach
Dr. Rose BuitenhuisVineland Research and Innovation Centre

Effective, reliable and economical thrips management using biological control, it seems like a dream. However, driven by pesticide resistance and the demand for sustainable production, many growers have successfully made the switch.

The systems approach addresses the underlying weaknesses of the production system that make it favourable to pests: If we limit our IPM strategy to adding bios, we assume that pest outbreaks are caused by the absence of natural enemies. Yet, for best results, we also have to improve crop resistance and change production practices and the greenhouse environment to reduce the development of pests. This presentation will show the major components of thrips IPM, and how it fits into greenhouse production practices.

9:10 – 9:50 am

Botrytis Management and Biocontrol
Jim FaustClemson University

Over-reliance on chemical fungicides has created spore populations with a high rate of fungicide resistance to Botrytis. Jim Faust will discuss his recent research that has demonstrated the benefits of foliar calcium application to improve host resistance of flowering crops to Botrytis infection. His data shows how calcium is frequently more effective than the best fungicides on the market. Over the past two years these results have been rapidly implemented at commercial greenhouses due to their high degree of effectiveness and relative low cost.

9:50 – 10:30 am

Bug Your Customer – Harness the Powerful Biocontrols Message to Build Your Brand
Nadine StielowThiel’s Greenhouses

Everyone loves a good clean story, and more than ever, the greenhouse customer wants to know yours. Whether you’re selling into retail or wholesale markets, there is no doubt the biocontrol topic is hot! Educating the consumer about the unique benefits of using biological control to produce your plants can help you and your business take advantage of this trend. Learn how you can ensure that top-of-mind awareness by sharing your greenhouse’s unique IPM story on social media and beyond.

Nadine Stielow’s seasonal ornamental greenhouse focuses on a strong IPM program utilizing biocontrol as a first line of defense. This message is prevalent in both her company’s new fresh greens hydroponic venture and in the day-to-day business culture. Good bugs are cool so shout it out!

Fruit and Biocontrol

Moderator: David EddyWestern Fruit Grower, Meister Media Worldwide, Inc.

8:30 – 9:10 am

Spotted Wing Drosophila Management in Blueberries and Cherries
Dr. Jhalendra Rijal – University of California Cooperative Extension & Statewide IPM Program

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is an invasive insect species which has become a severe pest of berry and soft fruits including blueberries and cherries throughout the United States. Female flies deposit eggs inside the ripening fruits. The larval internal feeding habit inside the fruit ultimately leads to unmarketable fruit. Current SWD control practice relies primarily on the routine spray of chemical insecticides as soon as the fruit becomes susceptible. The use of biocontrol-based products has been very limited. In my talk, I will discuss the recent research progress on the use of bio-based control options to manage spotted wing drosophila in blueberries and cherries.

9:10 – 9:50 am

Mating Disruption for Navel Orangeworm and Codling Moth in Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios
Emily J. SymmesUniversity of California Statewide IPM Program and Cooperative Extension

Navel orangeworm (NOW) continues to plague nut crop production in California. A statewide integrated pest management approach is needed to ensure that growers can continue to produce high-quality and profitable nut crops. One of the methods that can be used to minimize damage caused by NOW is by disrupting the reproductive cycle of the pest. This session will discuss advances in mating disruption technology targeting NOW in almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, and provide information on how to best incorporate this management tactic into an IPM program.

9:50 – 10:30 am

Biological Control of Mealybug in Vineyards
Kent DaaneUniversity of California

There has been increasing market demand for sustainably managed crops, including table and wine grapes. A key pest concern in grape production is the presence of mealybugs – either in the fruit cluster or on the vine as a vector of grape leafroll associated viruses. Natural enemies provide some control, but their effective use has to be carefully managed – including the selection of pesticides, the control of mealybug-tending ants, the movement of personnel and equipment among fields, and often the release of insectary-reared natural enemies.

10:30 am

Visit the Expo/Coffee Break

11:00 am

Biostimulants: What Are They and How Can I Make Them Work for Me?
Moderator: Richard Jones – U.S. Horticulture Group, Meister Media Worldwide, Inc.

Biostimulants are a new category of products and still somewhat unknown to many potential users. In this valuable session you’ll learn about biostimulants from the full spectrum of the industry, from the grower to the consultant to the university researcher to the supplier. You’ll come away with real-world perspectives on how these products work and how they can work for you in your production.

Presenters include:
Matt KleinhenzThe Ohio State University
David HoldenHolden Research and Consulting
Dr. Michael AustinAgrinos
Carlos A. Lazcano, Ph.D. – J&D Produce, Inc.

12:00 pm


12:00 – 1:00 pm

Lunch – on your own

20/Twenty Restaurant lunch menu

1:00 – 5:00 pm
Post-Conference Workshop
Cannabis Production: The Biocontrols Basics

Sponsored by

Presenters include:
Suzanne Wainwright-EvansBuglady Consulting
Kelly Vance – Beneficial Insectary

This half-day workshop following the conclusion of the conference program on Friday, March 9th, lays out the basics cannabis growers need to understand. Content is designed to help beginning users get your programs off the ground and experienced users take your biological control program to the next level. Learn how to integrate biopesticides into biocontrol programs as well as learn about some of the latest research.

This informative class will cover useful information on pests and solutions that any cannabis grower or consultant can use in their pest management programs and recommendations.

Topics will include:

  • Profiles of the bad guys (Identification & Biology)
  • Profile of the good guys (Identification & Biology)
  • Sanitation and trapping
  • Who eats whom (Sample programs)
  • Pesticide compatibility
  • How to buy beneficials
  • How to check your beneficials
  • Release methods