This year’s Biocontrols USA West Conference & Expo will introduce you to the latest techniques, technologies, and products you need to know to get the most from your crop protection program.
And those of you looking for a more in-depth application of those lessons, we are hosting workshops both before and after the conference. Whether you are just getting started with biocontrol or are looking to take your program to the next level, we are excited to offer you this opportunity to learn even more about putting these tools to work.
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Owner of Buglady Consulting, will facilitate both sessions:
- Quality Control with Your Biocontrol Program – Wednesday, March 1,
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Getting Started with Biocontrols – Friday, March 3, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Space is limited for these workshops and both are filling up fast, so be sure to register now.
We asked Suzanne for insight on some of the topics she’ll cover in the workshops and lessons you’ll be able to take home and apply in your operation:
Q: What’s the biggest challenge no one considers, but they really should, in working with biocontrol?
Wainwright-Evans: The biggest thing people don’t consider enough is how to manage secondary pests without disrupting your existing biocontrol program. It can be challenging to manage multiple pest complexes in a crop. You have to understand how things work together and try to keep pest populations manageable. For example, if you are using aphid banker plants for control of aphids but a spider mite problem blows up and you need to treat, you can really disrupt an effective biocontrol program you already have in place to manage aphids.
Another challenge that should get more attention is with quality control, and that’s considering the distance biological control agents are traveling in shipment and how they are stored. All of this can impact the quality of the biocontrols. Learning how to buy and manage beneficials will improve the quality of any biocontrol program.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake people make in using biocontrols?
Wainwright-Evans: The most common mistake I see is not using the right beneficial for the pest you have. It’s important to understand who eats what. You need to be really clear about exactly which pest you have so you can choose the right control. It’s also very important to understand the environment you’re working in and which biological control agents are appropriate for those conditions.
Q: What’s something surprising people will learn in the workshops?
Wainwright-Evans: I think people will be a little relieved to learn that checking for quality is really not that hard once you understand it. It’s easier than you might think. There are a number of simple, steps you can take to make sure you have good biocontrol agents to work with and you’re giving them the best opportunity to succeed. It doesn’t have to be complicated.