Biocontrols Event Draws Rave Reviews

biocontrols2015conferenceMore than 400 growers, pest control and certified crop advisers, researchers, government regulators, and suppliers gathered in Fresno earlier this month for the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow.

This event — a first of its kind focused solely on the use of biopesticides and other biocontrols — brought attendees together for an in-depth discussion on the latest tools available, “how-to” production topics, market trends, and regulatory issues. Attendees also spent time with nearly 40 exhibitors learning about new technologies, techniques and services that are making the use of biocontrols more mainstream with growers all over the country.

“Ours is a very economic and science-based business culture,” said Gary Schulz, the new CEO of the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA). “We encourage our pest control advisers (PCAs) to use all of the tools they have available, both traditional chemicals as well as many of the new softer materials including biopesticides and biocontrols.”

Sessions at the event covered a broad range of topics from crop-specific production techniques for fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops to broader industry issues, including a spirited discussion on maximum residue levels (and how biocontrols can help growers stay under tolerance limits for sales to both U.S. and international markets).

“EPA is trying to develop a more predictable regulatory process for these materials,” said Robert McNally, director of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division.

Surendra Dara, Strawberry and Vegetable Crops Advisor and Affiliated IPM Advisor with University of California Cooperative Extension, pointed out that as more useful biological products are becoming available, the technology is beginning to deal a little more successfully with the perception issues that have plagued it in the past. But there’s still work to be done, he said.

“Biopesticides do not have to be just for organic production. These are tools for conventional growers, too,” he said. “These materials do work.”

The World Is Changing
It’s critical that biopesticides work, because increasingly, growers are going to want to look at them to control pests more “softly.” For one thing, produce buyers, especially the large grocery chains, are increasing their scrutiny of conventional pesticides’ maximum residue levels (MRLs).

CAPCA CEO  Gary Schulz (Photo Credit: Growing Produce)
CAPCA CEO Gary Schulz (Photo Credit: Growing Produce)

But it’s not just the food industry that is examining pesticide levels, said Brian Leahy, the director of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Everyone from the bureaucrats at the various water quality control boards to the activists with wildlife groups are keeping a close eye on what materials growers are using.

“We spend a lot of time telling people that California food is safe,” he said. “The rest of society is really looking at registration.”

Using biocontrols requires that growers change their mindset, noted Brad Higbee, director of entomology for the largest tree fruit and nut grower in the world, Paramount Farming Co. of Bakersfield, CA.

Higbee should know, as earlier in his career when he was with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Washington, he helped pioneer the use of pheromone mating disruption to control Public Enemy No. 1 in the state’s apple orchards, codling moth.

Since moving to California and going to work for Paramount, Higbee has employed mating disruption on the most damaging pest of almonds, navel orangeworm, and has enjoyed great success. In fact, he said mating disruption acreage on California almonds will double this year, because it’s working on high-pressure blocks.

“It’s hard for a grower to use no pesticides,” he said, “but we’re using mating disruption only, and it works.”

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Biocontrols Conference Stories
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Silicon: a Biocontrol Agent that Boosts Plant Immunity
Quality and profitability are two important factors that drive our agricultural markets. We have fine-tuned our cultivation processes over centuries Read More
Biocontrols Conference
August 14, 2017
Biocontrols: The South African Fruit Growers’ Perspective
While insect and disease pressure differs from U.S., South African fruit growers say education and slow transitions make for successful integration of biological products. Read More
sprayer nozzles
Biocontrols Conference
July 31, 2017
11 New Biocontrol Products You Need to Know
One of the highlights of the Biocontrols Conference & Expo Series is getting an early look at some of the Read More
Biocontrols Conference
June 11, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Enters into Distribution Agreement with Jet Harvest Solutions
MBI to market Jet-Ag fungicide/bactericide to help growers combat plant disease and control bacteria, mold, and yeasts. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
April 3, 2017
5 Graphics that Show How Biocontrols are Used by Vegetable Growers
American Vegetable Grower was curious about how biocontrols are impacting the industry. So we took a look at our State of the Vegetable Industry Survey to see what patterns may emerge. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
April 3, 2017
Silicon: Plant Nutrient and Biocontrol Agent
Editor’s note: Wendy Zellner made an in-depth presentation on silicon and its use as a biocontrol agent in vegetable crops Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 30, 2017
New Horticultural Technology Tools at Your Fingertips [Opinion]
The new technology of fruit growing may not be what we expected. In fact, it’s likely more than we imagined. Read More
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans speaks to crowd at Biocontrols USA West 2017
Biocontrols Conference
March 6, 2017
More Growers Willing to Bet on Biocontrols
Industry event highlighting alternative pest management methods draws interested crowd to Reno. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 15, 2016
Focus On IPM: Biocontrols Provide Progressive Grower Solutions
The Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference & Expo explored new ways to make biological control a mainstream part of your pest management program. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 9, 2016
Biopesticides And IPM
Dr. Surendra Dara, Strawberry and Vegetable Crops Advisor and Affiliated IPM Advisor with University of California Cooperative Extension, has long Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 8, 2016
7 Steps To See If Biocontrols Pencil Out For Your Operation
Have you considered adding biocontrols to your operation? If you have, there’s no doubt you’ve already weighed the potential costs, Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 23, 2015
Biocontrols Event Draws Rave Reviews
Conference devoted to discussion of biological means to control pests and diseases held last month in Fresno, CA. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 9, 2015
Growers Go In-Depth At Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow
The first-of-its-kind event brought growers, researchers, regulators, and suppliers together for a two-day discussion on the latest biocontrols tools and technologies. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 25, 2015
Biocontrols 2015: Exhibition Sneak Preview
We take a look inside the exhibit hall at the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow. Read More
David Holden
Biocontrols Conference
February 18, 2015
Biopesticides, Biostimulants Show Results In Fruits And Vegetables
From biostimulants in celery and avocado to biopesticides in citrus and strawberries, consultant David Holden conducts in-the-field research that attests to the effectiveness of biocontrols. Read More
The Latest
Biocontrols Conference
September 13, 2017
Get Better Results From Your Biopesticid…
Softer crop protection programs are becoming a must in specialty crop production. Growers who aren’t learning more about their options Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 11, 2017
The Grower’s Take: Citrus, HLB, and Biol…
Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice brand has enjoyed steady growth since its 2002 inception. The brand’s success is due to Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Dispelling the Rumors: Using Biologicals…
Whether you’re a grower, packer, processor, or retailer, you have experienced the dramatic shift in consumer preference for sustainable practices Read More
Biocontrols Conference
September 1, 2017
Silicon: a Biocontrol Agent that Boosts …
Quality and profitability are two important factors that drive our agricultural markets. We have fine-tuned our cultivation processes over centuries Read More
Biocontrols Conference
August 14, 2017
Biocontrols: The South African Fruit Gro…
While insect and disease pressure differs from U.S., South African fruit growers say education and slow transitions make for successful integration of biological products. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
July 31, 2017
11 New Biocontrol Products You Need to K…
One of the highlights of the Biocontrols Conference & Expo Series is getting an early look at some of the Read More
Biocontrols Conference
June 11, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations Enters into Dist…
MBI to market Jet-Ag fungicide/bactericide to help growers combat plant disease and control bacteria, mold, and yeasts. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
April 3, 2017
5 Graphics that Show How Biocontrols are…
American Vegetable Grower was curious about how biocontrols are impacting the industry. So we took a look at our State of the Vegetable Industry Survey to see what patterns may emerge. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
April 3, 2017
Silicon: Plant Nutrient and Biocontrol A…
Editor’s note: Wendy Zellner made an in-depth presentation on silicon and its use as a biocontrol agent in vegetable crops Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 30, 2017
New Horticultural Technology Tools at Yo…
The new technology of fruit growing may not be what we expected. In fact, it’s likely more than we imagined. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 6, 2017
More Growers Willing to Bet on Biocontro…
Industry event highlighting alternative pest management methods draws interested crowd to Reno. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 15, 2016
Focus On IPM: Biocontrols Provide Progre…
The Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference & Expo explored new ways to make biological control a mainstream part of your pest management program. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 9, 2016
Biopesticides And IPM
Dr. Surendra Dara, Strawberry and Vegetable Crops Advisor and Affiliated IPM Advisor with University of California Cooperative Extension, has long Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 8, 2016
7 Steps To See If Biocontrols Pencil Out…
Have you considered adding biocontrols to your operation? If you have, there’s no doubt you’ve already weighed the potential costs, Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 23, 2015
Biocontrols Event Draws Rave Reviews
Conference devoted to discussion of biological means to control pests and diseases held last month in Fresno, CA. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
March 9, 2015
Growers Go In-Depth At Biocontrols 2015 …
The first-of-its-kind event brought growers, researchers, regulators, and suppliers together for a two-day discussion on the latest biocontrols tools and technologies. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 25, 2015
Biocontrols 2015: Exhibition Sneak Previ…
We take a look inside the exhibit hall at the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow. Read More
Biocontrols Conference
February 18, 2015
Biopesticides, Biostimulants Show Result…
From biostimulants in celery and avocado to biopesticides in citrus and strawberries, consultant David Holden conducts in-the-field research that attests to the effectiveness of biocontrols. Read More