Biorational Approach To Conventional & Organic Produce Growing

Biorational Approach: Conventional & Organic

Of all the facts about Bts to keep in mind, perhaps the most important is just how incredibly effective they are. Whether it’s because Bts are organically approved or because they are a natural product, many people tend to forget just how deadly they are to targeted pests. Bts work well, and they work fast. Larvae stop feeding within minutes, and they die in just 1 to 3 days.

While it’s true that Bts are approved for organic production, the vast majority of Bts are applied on conventional acreage. Why? Because Bts have the ability to contribute substantially to your bottom line profit. For many progressive growers, Bt is a fundamental starting point for performance and profitability. If you lean toward a pragmatic, profit-driven approach to growing produce, Bts are for you.

Bts add value. They add value by improving crop quality and packout. Organic growers use Bt because they are one of the few effective tools available for organic production. Conventional growers use Bts because they are relatively inexpensive and can improve the overall efficacy of an integrated program. And Bts have particular attributes that most effective, traditional chemicals can’t match. For example, when that beautiful, high-dollar crop comes under attack just days away from harvest, Bts low preharvest interval can mean the difference to finding that high margin window.

It’s important to realize that Bts aren’t intended to replace traditional chemicals. Both traditional chemicals and Bts have a place in the grower’s toolbox. Bts can control pests just as traditional chemicals, but also provide added benefits such as resistance management and maintaining beneficial insects.

Resistance can be a problem in both organic and conventional systems. And in both, combining different products – taking a program approach – is the best way to avoid resistance and deliver a top quality crop that yields a beautiful bottom line.

For example, a grower of organic apples needs a program that can control two nasty pests, codling moth and leaf rollers.

First off, it’s critical for the grower to monitor pest levels – scouting is generally more critical in organic systems – and start a Bt program early, right after petal fall, to keep pest infestations low.

Throughout the first half of the season different Bt products can be utilized so different pests are controlled. Then about mid-season other organically approved insecticides can be applied. The benefits of this program approach are numerous: no non-organic chemical residues, effective control of codling moth and leaf rollers, minimized crop damage and maximized ROI, conserve beneficial insects, and unique Mode of Action, a resistance management tool.

As mentioned above, Bts are well known – perhaps even best known – for their role in the production of organic foods. Consumers, particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe, have demonstrated that they’re willing to pay a premium for organic foods. Organic agriculture is one of the fastest growing segments in the industry, with some estimates of growth as high as 20% a year. Many agricultural Bts are listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) for use in organic production. Without Bts, it’s safe to say the organic industry would be hard pressed to compete in today’s market.

However, it’s important to note that only a small percentage of the Bts used each year are applied to organic acreage. In some regions of the world, nearly 100% of crops such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, grapes or rice receive at least one Bt application per season.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Citrus Stories
dripping orange
CitrusFlorida Legislative Session Bittersweet For Citrus
June 23, 2015
Gov. Rick Scott OKs almost $20 million to fight HLB; vetoes nearly $4 million in other related initiatives. Read More
CitrusCalifornia High Heat Warning Issued
June 23, 2015
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is advising all employers to protect their outdoor workers from the Read More
Close-up of Sugar Belle LB 8-9
Varieties & RootstocksSounds Like Chime Is Right For Sugar Belle LB 8-9
June 22, 2015
Well-vetted variety is finding its sweet spot amid today’s HLB-influenced production practices. Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
CitrusResearchers Ready To Testify Before Congress About GMOs
June 22, 2015
UF/IFAS grad students seeking to field questions relating to the GMO regulatory processes, food labeling, and product safety. Read More
2015 Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference crowd
CitrusFlorida Citrus Growers’ Resolve Put To The Test
June 22, 2015
During annual conference, industry leaders call for an ‘all in’ approach to survive current crisis. Read More
Insect & Disease UpdateAsian Citrus Psyllid Quarantine Expanded Again In California
June 22, 2015
Following an Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) find in San Luis Obispo County in May the California Department of Food and Read More
smartphone app for citrus greening
Insect & Disease UpdateNew Smartphone App Developed To Help Put Citrus Pests In Their Place
June 19, 2015
Free program allows growers to multiple variables to determine the best pesticide to use. Read More
The Latest
money down the drain
CitrusGovernor’s Budget Veto Likely To Shutter UF/IFAS …
June 25, 2015
A $180,000 increase, plus another $720,000 in funding for program gone in the stroke of a pen. Read More
blue orchard bee
CitrusPlight Of Pollinators Presenting Sticky Situation
June 24, 2015
Growers, beekeepers, and the ag-chem industry urged to work together to protect pollinators and plants. Read More
dripping orange
CitrusFlorida Legislative Session Bittersweet For Citrus
June 23, 2015
Gov. Rick Scott OKs almost $20 million to fight HLB; vetoes nearly $4 million in other related initiatives. Read More
CitrusCalifornia High Heat Warning Issued
June 23, 2015
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) is advising all employers to protect their outdoor workers from the Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
CitrusResearchers Ready To Testify Before Congress About GMOs
June 22, 2015
UF/IFAS grad students seeking to field questions relating to the GMO regulatory processes, food labeling, and product safety. Read More
2015 Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference crowd
CitrusFlorida Citrus Growers’ Resolve Put To The Test
June 22, 2015
During annual conference, industry leaders call for an ‘all in’ approach to survive current crisis. Read More
CitrusPollinator Protection Dependent On Pure Partnerships [O…
June 18, 2015
Florida bee BMPs program has not only improved cooperation between growers and beekeepers, but also shows that voluntary efforts work. Read More
UF/IFAS certificate of farm labor management
CitrusFlorida Growers Working Toward Safety And Equality
June 17, 2015
New Certificate Program educates farm supervisors on best practices. Read More
CitrusPresident Obama Allocates $110M For Drought-Relief
June 16, 2015
On Friday, President Obama announced the investment of $110 million to support workers, farmers, and rural communities suffering from drought Read More
Lake Howell in Casselberry, FL
CitrusFarm Bureau Offers Detailed Analysis Of Waters Of The U…
June 15, 2015
Rule will give EPA “sweeping powers” to regulate land use, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Read More
Florida BMPs grower meeting
CitrusFlorida BMPs Program Racks Up More Successes
June 15, 2015
The Florida legislature passed the 1999 Florida Watershed Restoration Act that gives the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Read More
secrets can do lots of damage
CitrusConfidentiality Counterproductive For Today’s Far…
June 15, 2015
No longer is transparency an anomaly among the grower community, it's become necessary to survive and succeed. Read More
squeezing an orange
CitrusFlorida Citrus Season Grinding Toward Sour Finish
June 10, 2015
USDA’s updated estimate keeps orange count in check at historically low total. Read More
Charlotte's Web-medical marijuana in greenhouse
CitrusFlorida Still Playing Medical Marijuana Waiting Game
June 9, 2015
Growers and potential patients hold their breath while next steps are taken to spin Charlotte’s Web. Read More
CitrusParamount Farms Renamed As Part Of The Wonderful Compan…
June 9, 2015
Roll Global officially changed its name to The Wonderful Company recently. This strategic move will align the company’s long-standing passion Read More
Guava Fruit Fly specimen
CitrusLos Angeles County Under Quarantine Following Guava Fru…
June 9, 2015
A portion of Los Angeles County has been placed under quarantine for the guava fruit fly (GFF) following the detection Read More
motorized conveyor belt for citrus juice processing
CitrusFlorida Juice Plant Put On Auction Block
June 8, 2015
Financial troubles catch up with Ft. Pierce manufacturer and bottler as feds seize all assets. Read More
Crisafulli Groves sign in Merritt Island, FL
CitrusCrisafulli Citrus Matriarch Passes Away At 98
June 5, 2015
Josephine Crisafulli Ramshur spent the majority of her life caring for the groves that carry her family name. Read More