Biocontrols are probably on your radar by now. Every day it seems like there’s more and more pressure, whether from the public, or your customers, or the regulators, to work “softer” materials into your crop protection programs.
Biocontrols, along with many of the new safer, more targeted conventional chemistries on the market, make that possible, and even desirable for growers, especially late in the season when residues are a big issue.
But as we talk to readers, there still seems to be a lot of uncertainty about how biocontrols work, the best ways to use them, and how effective they actually are. In fact, we recently surveyed specialty crop growers around the country on their attitudes about the technology. Of the vegetable growers who indicated they wouldn’t be using biocontrols in their production this season, nearly half — 49% — said the reason was “I don’t know enough about biocontrols to use them effectively.”
We believe more information is needed for everyone to make the best decisions for their own operations. To help fulfill American Vegetable Grower’s mission to serve as a resource that helps you and your business, our parent company, Meister Media Worldwide, is hosting the Biocontrols 2015 Conference & Tradeshow in Fresno, CA, March 3-5.
We’ve put together what we think is an excellent program of hands-on production information by experts in the industry from Extension educators to knowledgeable allied industry members and regulators, to your grower peers themselves. The educational program will cover the ins and outs of the technology and how it may impact you next season and in the years to come. A large proportion is dedicated to topics of interest specifically to you as vegetable growers. Some of the highlights include:
• Grimmway Farms’ Gerald Davis on how the company uses biocontrol in its fields — and why.
• University of California IPM Advisor Surendra Dara on biopesticides and managing lygus bug and two-spotted spider mite in strawberries.
• Consultant David Holden on the impact drought is having on crop protection programs in California and the implications that has for your future.
• AMVAC’s Cindy Baker Smith on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) and how biocontrols can help you manage MRL requirements in your crops.
There’s a lot more on the program for vegetable growers and PCAs, as well as an opportunity to earn continuing education credits and also learn about new biocontrol products and processes during the tradeshow portion of the event.
To learn more about the event and how you can register, go to BiocontrolsConference.com. We hope we’ll see you in Fresno in March.