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
Campus of Massey University in New Zealand
Citrus
March 23, 2017
Count Down the World’s Top 30 Agriculture Colleges
Familiar names and several new faces among annual ranking’s elite. Read More
Business Planning
March 22, 2017
How HortTech Is Solving Grower Challenges
Dozens of tech companies are looking for solutions to real-world problems vegetable growers face. We take a look at what it could really mean for you and your business. Read More
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Proposed USDA, EPA Budget Cuts
New plan would slash USDA spending by 21%. Read More
fork digging into a plate full of salad
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Since When Did Eating Get So Complicated? [Opinion]
The bottom line to all this is the way we eat is undergoing massive disruption. Read More
Swadesh Santra of UCF
Citrus
March 16, 2017
UCF Stepping up to Be Farming’s Knight in Shining Armor
Hopes are high that the school's new agriculture research center will help growers solve production issues and feed the globe. Read More
A.H. Whitmore Farm in Leesburg, FL, as seen from Google Earth
Varieties & Rootstocks
March 16, 2017
Experimental Citrus Groves Disappearing in Florida
Challenges to growth expand as vital research is in dire need of a home. Read More
Frozen blueberries
Berries
March 15, 2017
Arctic Blast Gives Southern Fruit Growers the Chills
Peaches and berries in bloom most at risk from freezing temperatures. Read More
Citrus
March 15, 2017
Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Regulations
There are 15 federal agencies implement more than 30 different food safety statutes. A team of experts believe they have a solution. Read More
Cutting the power cord
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Can Your Farm Survive If the Grid Goes Down? Can You?
Even in a plugged-in world, the basics are needed now more than ever. Read More
Stormy skies over Florida
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Concerns Mount in the Sunshine State Over Growing Rainfall Deficits
Water conservation efforts called for as the dry season rolls on. Read More
Citrus
March 10, 2017
Jim Gorden Named California Citrus Research Board Chairman
Gorden, who previously served as chief of the California organization, was a partner in the first independent citrus pest management consulting company in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
Florida citrus grove
Citrus
March 9, 2017
Florida Citrus Crop Besieged By Sinking Feeling
Latest USDA estimate yanks healthy chunk out of projected yield for oranges. Read More
Banding dry fertilizer on a potato field
Citrus
March 7, 2017
The Andersons Divests Florida Farm Center Locations
Local, family owned custom blend fertilizer company taking over assets and product distribution responsibilities. Read More
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans speaks to crowd at Biocontrols USA West 2017
Citrus
March 6, 2017
More Growers Willing to Bet on Biocontrols
Industry event highlighting alternative pest management methods draws interested crowd to Reno. Read More
Florida red grapefruit samples
Grapefruit & Specialty
March 1, 2017
Is South Korea a Grapefruit Market Goldmine?
Researchers are finding high demand for the tart citrus, opening the door for opportunistic Florida growers to fill the need. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
March 27, 2017
Say Hello to the New Miss Florida Citrus
Storied tradition continues with crowning of the industry’s newest advocate. Read More
Citrus
March 25, 2017
New Videos Offer Tips on Planting Pollin…
A new video series on planting flowering habitats is designed to help growers support crop pollinators. Read More
Citrus
March 24, 2017
Marrone Bio Introduces Biostimulant to R…
Haven Anti-transpirant helps to reduce transpiration of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. Read More
Citrus
March 23, 2017
Count Down the World’s Top 30 Agricultur…
Familiar names and several new faces among annual ranking’s elite. Read More
Business Planning
March 22, 2017
How HortTech Is Solving Grower Challenge…
Dozens of tech companies are looking for solutions to real-world problems vegetable growers face. We take a look at what it could really mean for you and your business. Read More
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Industry Groups, Ag Leaders React to Pro…
New plan would slash USDA spending by 21%. Read More
Citrus
March 21, 2017
Since When Did Eating Get So Complicated…
The bottom line to all this is the way we eat is undergoing massive disruption. Read More
Citrus
March 16, 2017
UCF Stepping up to Be Farming’s Kn…
Hopes are high that the school's new agriculture research center will help growers solve production issues and feed the globe. Read More
Berries
March 15, 2017
Arctic Blast Gives Southern Fruit Grower…
Peaches and berries in bloom most at risk from freezing temperatures. Read More
Citrus
March 15, 2017
Group Wants To Streamline Food Safety Re…
There are 15 federal agencies implement more than 30 different food safety statutes. A team of experts believe they have a solution. Read More
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Can Your Farm Survive If the Grid Goes D…
Even in a plugged-in world, the basics are needed now more than ever. Read More
Citrus
March 14, 2017
Concerns Mount in the Sunshine State Ove…
Water conservation efforts called for as the dry season rolls on. Read More
Citrus
March 10, 2017
Jim Gorden Named California Citrus Resea…
Gorden, who previously served as chief of the California organization, was a partner in the first independent citrus pest management consulting company in the San Joaquin Valley. Read More
Citrus
March 9, 2017
Florida Citrus Crop Besieged By Sinking …
Latest USDA estimate yanks healthy chunk out of projected yield for oranges. Read More
Citrus
March 7, 2017
The Andersons Divests Florida Farm Cente…
Local, family owned custom blend fertilizer company taking over assets and product distribution responsibilities. Read More
Citrus
March 6, 2017
More Growers Willing to Bet on Biocontro…
Industry event highlighting alternative pest management methods draws interested crowd to Reno. Read More
Citrus
February 28, 2017
Trump Set to Ditch Controversial Water R…
WOTUS could be on the way out after an executive order calls for a top-to-bottom review. Read More
Citrus
February 25, 2017
Citrus Research Investments Yielding Pos…
Despite still having mounds of wood to chop, grower, federal, and state programs collectively are making a dent. Read More