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
CitrusFarm Bureau Says WOTUS Rule Would Ignore Exemptions
March 24, 2015
Common farming practices may be vulnerable to Clean Water Act enforcement under the rule. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Unveils $1 Billion Drought Package
March 23, 2015
Governor, legislative leaders, announce $1 billion emergency drought legislation. Read More
CitrusFeed A Bee Campaign Aims To Plant 50 Million Flowers
March 23, 2015
Bayer CropScience announces program to increase forage opportunities for critical pollinators. Read More
Varieties & RootstocksAnother Player Goes To Bat For Citrus Research
March 20, 2015
Unique Gainesville, FL-based breeding program focusing on mandarin hybrids. Read More
Giant African Land Snail
CitrusFlorida To Get $7.3 Million To Fight Agricultural Pests, Diseases
March 19, 2015
Federal Farm Bill funding will bolster surveillance, detection, and identification of invasive threats to crops. Read More
CitrusReport: Family Farms Are Still Backbone Of U.S. Agriculture
March 17, 2015
USDA reports that 97% of all U.S. farms are family-owned. Read More
defending agriculture; GMOs; farm innovation
Farm ManagementDefending Innovation Has Become Full-Time Job For Agriculture [Opinion]
March 16, 2015
Florida Grower editor Frank Giles says the notion that laying out facts in defense of science somehow constitutes a grand conspiracy should give us all pause. Read More
The Latest
CitrusMore California Citrus Placed Under Psyllid Quarantine
March 27, 2015
Asian citrus psyllid is found in Madera County – the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
CitrusProposed Farm Bill Provision To Limit Payments To Non-F…
March 25, 2015
USDA has proposed a new rule which would limit payment to those who are only actively engaged in farming. Read More
Summer Foley gets crowned Miss Florida Citrus 2015 by 2004 winner Nikki Upthegrove Matthews and reigning Miss Florida Vicotria Cowen
CitrusMeet The New Miss Florida Citrus
March 24, 2015
Pageant marks comeback of longstanding industry tradition. Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Says WOTUS Rule Would Ignore Exemptions
March 24, 2015
Common farming practices may be vulnerable to Clean Water Act enforcement under the rule. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Unveils $1 Billion Drought Package
March 23, 2015
Governor, legislative leaders, announce $1 billion emergency drought legislation. Read More
CitrusFeed A Bee Campaign Aims To Plant 50 Million Flowers
March 23, 2015
Bayer CropScience announces program to increase forage opportunities for critical pollinators. Read More
Giant African Land Snail
CitrusFlorida To Get $7.3 Million To Fight Agricultural Pests…
March 19, 2015
Federal Farm Bill funding will bolster surveillance, detection, and identification of invasive threats to crops. Read More
CitrusReport: Family Farms Are Still Backbone Of U.S. Agricul…
March 17, 2015
USDA reports that 97% of all U.S. farms are family-owned. Read More
CitrusPrecision Agriculture Tools Help Producers Stay On Poin…
March 16, 2015
Check out three high-tech gadgets designed to keep your farming operation on the right track. Read More
Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association; Alliance For Food And Farming; food safety
CitrusAlliance For Food And Farming Bolsters Management Board
March 13, 2015
Organization taps Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association president Mike Stuart to help advocate on behalf of the industry and to encourage fresh produce consumption. Read More
CitrusWhy Honesty Is The Best Policy When Working With The Pu…
March 13, 2015
While at the recent Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention held in Hershey, PA, I sat in on a panel discussion Read More
CitrusIPM Is Now Mainstream In The West
March 12, 2015
New Western IPM Center report shows integrated pest management is widely used and has slashed pesticide use in the western U.S. Read More
FFVA's Emerging Leader Development Program Class 4 visits Lipman Produce.
CitrusReaching Out Helps Future Farming Leaders Take A Lot I…
March 12, 2015
Class 4 of Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association's Emerging Leader Development Program learns best by getting out of the classroom and into the field. Read More
CitrusAnother Pucker In Florida Orange Crop Prediction
March 10, 2015
Early, mid-season varieties slip, dropping projected USDA total below 2013-2014 final output. Read More
CitrusMake The Most Of Social Media For Your Business
March 10, 2015
Social media is a valuable, and inexpensive tool to promote your business and reach a wide audience. Read More
CitrusPreparing For Agriculture’s Future [Opinion]
March 9, 2015
I got invited to serve on a panel recently that was tasked with judging a series of presentations given by four Read More
CitrusFlorida Politicos Hopeful In Wake Of Comprehensive Wate…
March 9, 2015
House decision could be first step in providing a long-term solution for protecting one of the state’s most precious resources. Read More
CitrusNew Marvel Comic Book Reveals Origin Of Captain Citrus
March 5, 2015
Second installment of the Avengers Assemble series sets the stage for a new hero to save an orange grove under attack. Read More