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
Havana, Cuba view
CitrusRenewed Relations With Cuba A Concern For Florida Growers [Opinion]
April 23, 2015
It might be said Sunshine State producers are worried if wider trade is opened as the potential for competing winter crops is real. Read More
7-6-27 mandarin hybrid
Varieties & Rootstocks4 Fresh Florida Citrus Selections To Watch For
April 22, 2015
Meet the newest group of UF/IFAS FAST TRACK release candidates. Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Supports Bill To Halt Controversial WOTUS Rule
April 21, 2015
 Legislation would force EPA and the U.S. Army of Engineers to withdraw Waters of the United States proposal. Read More
CitrusRecord Number Of Organic Producers In U.S.
April 21, 2015
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services says domestic production has increased by 250% across all markets since 2002. Read More
Captain Citrus running through an orange grove
CitrusFlorida Citrus Gaining Leverage For Next Growth Spurt
April 21, 2015
Amid the battles, moments of real and sustainable hope have emerged this season. Read More
citrus black spot symptoms
Insect & Disease UpdateCitrus Black Spot Rears Its Ugly Head Again In Southwest Florida
April 20, 2015
Recent confirmed findings of the fungal malady forces USDA-APHIS to expand regulated area. Read More
Natalie Parkell and Kevin Osburn of Vertical Horizon Farms
CitrusSmall Family Farms Can Survive [Opinion]
April 17, 2015
It is reassuring amid the corporate climate the agriculture industry has experienced in more recent times that there is still room for the little guy, and — more importantly — a need. Read More
The Latest
CitrusTrimble Acquires HarvestMark To Assist With Food Tracea…
April 28, 2015
The goals of the acquisition ato provide more benefits to producers, add value to distribution centers, and provide a tool for tracking products in the food industry. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Drought Forum Slated For May 5
April 27, 2015
Public comments by growers, ranchers, and other stakeholders are encouraged by state officials. Read More
Havana, Cuba view
CitrusRenewed Relations With Cuba A Concern For Florida Growe…
April 23, 2015
It might be said Sunshine State producers are worried if wider trade is opened as the potential for competing winter crops is real. Read More
CitrusFarm Bureau Supports Bill To Halt Controversial WOTUS R…
April 21, 2015
 Legislation would force EPA and the U.S. Army of Engineers to withdraw Waters of the United States proposal. Read More
CitrusRecord Number Of Organic Producers In U.S.
April 21, 2015
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services says domestic production has increased by 250% across all markets since 2002. Read More
Captain Citrus running through an orange grove
CitrusFlorida Citrus Gaining Leverage For Next Growth Spurt
April 21, 2015
Amid the battles, moments of real and sustainable hope have emerged this season. Read More
Natalie Parkell and Kevin Osburn of Vertical Horizon Farms
CitrusSmall Family Farms Can Survive [Opinion]
April 17, 2015
It is reassuring amid the corporate climate the agriculture industry has experienced in more recent times that there is still room for the little guy, and — more importantly — a need. Read More
Golden Rice
CitrusMore Social Commentators Changing Their Views On GMO Cr…
April 15, 2015
Could public opinion be swayed by evolving narration on genetic modification? Read More
CitrusFlorida Agriculture Rings Up Record $4.2 Billion In Int…
April 13, 2015
Accomplishment represents third year in a row that Sunshine State exports have topped the $4 billion mark. Read More
Florida citrus packinghouse
CitrusLatest Florida Orange Crop Outlook Puts Brakes On Downw…
April 9, 2015
Updated numbers from USDA reveal count continuing to hover just above the 100 million box mark. Read More
CitrusForecasters Predict Historically Weak Atlantic Hurrican…
April 9, 2015
Extended range outlook cites El Niño as culprit in what could be one of the least active seasons in recent memory. Read More
One World Challenge Wall
CitrusToday’s Youth Set To Sustain The World [Opinion]
April 9, 2015
A select group of University of Florida students are thinking of innovative ways to meet the challenges of supporting 9+ billion people on Earth by 2050. Read More
Summer Foley, Miss Florida Citrus 2015
Citrus6 Questions With Miss Florida Citrus 2015
April 7, 2015
Pageant's much-anticipated comeback brings with it a breath of fresh air. Read More
non-gmo label leafy greens
CitrusNational Farmers Union Supports Mandatory GMO Labeling
April 3, 2015
Organization calls on Congress for unified standards to bridge several pending labeling proposals. Read More
CitrusRainfall Relief Welcomed Across South Florida
April 3, 2015
Below-average precipitation for the region during March helps lower high water levels from what has been a rather wet Dry Season. Read More
CitrusEPA Says It Is Unlikely To Approve New Neonicotinoid Ou…
April 3, 2015
The agency is waiting until new bee data has been submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete. Read More
FFVA Emerging Leaders Class 4 visits Tallahassee
CitrusMarch On Tallahassee A Fruitful Exercise For Florida…
April 2, 2015
Road trip to the state capital beneficial for Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association's board of directors and Class 4 of its Emerging Leader Development Program. Read More
CitrusCalifornia Snowpack Is Virtually Gone
April 2, 2015
With the lowest water content since 1950, the governor orders first-ever mandatory water reductions in cities and towns, and growers face tighter regulations. Read More