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Columnist: Eric Hammons, Marrone Bio Innovations, Southeast sales manager

Growers are well aware of the steady increase in demand for organic products. Market demand and regulations have led to a shift in how we maximize yields. However, biopesticides, traditionally found in organic production, have become common place on conventional and transitional acres as well.

The demand for organic produce has become mainstream, and food safety is always top of mind for consumers, as well as producers. These factors are driving a move away from conventional chemistry. Your integrated pest management (IPM) mix is both stronger and safer when you use biopesticides, but understanding the “art of use” and knowing how to introduce biopesticides is key.

Source: Organic Trade Association

Source: Organic Trade Association

Where do you start? First, learn what you can about the many biopesticide options available to you. Reading about how they strengthen your IPM mix is a great start. Below is an overview of products from Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI), a leading global provider of biopesticides:

 

Biofungicide

 

Regalia® biofungicide is a powerful tool for growers looking to control a broad spectrum of fungal and bacterial diseases in numerous crops. Regalia boosts a plant’s innate ability to fight disease while helping the crop better handle environmental stress, leading to better marketable yield and improved quality. It has proven to be effective in treatment of botrytis, anthracnose, powdery mildew and mummy berry. It can be used as a stand-alone product or tank mixed with other fungicides.

 

Bioinsecticides

 

Grandevo® WDG bioinsecticide has an innovative mode of action that controls arthropods through a unique combination of repellency, feeding disruption, reduced egg hatch, and a reduction in the ability for these species to reproduce. Grandevo WDG raises the bar for modern bioinsecticides by improving resistance management and providing extended control of a broad range of insects and mites, including thrips, Lepidoptera, scales (at crawler stage), spotted wing drosophila and many others. Recognized by Agrow as the “Best New Biopesticide for 2012,” Grandevo was the first new broad-spectrum microbial insecticide to enter the market in nearly 50 years. In 2016, MBI introduced a new wettable dry granule (WDG) formulation that is easier to mix.

 

Venerate® XC bioinsecticide is the latest from MBI. It shows consistent efficacy against adult insects including aphids, Lepidoptera, thrips, weevils and others, and at various stages of development, from larvae to adults. Grandevo WDG and Venerate XC are not limited by pre-defined spray windows and are bee and predator friendly, providing flexibility to incorporate them into an integrated pest management (IPM) program. They are ideal partners for an integrated insect control program. Use Grandevo WDG early to help control insect populations and, if adult insects are present, begin with Venerate XC. The products can be rotated in a conventional IPM program, but should always be used early as these products are preventative in nature.

 

Bionematicide

Majestene® bionematicide is a liquid product that can be applied pre-plant, at planting and in-season for nematode suppression in most crops, including potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, cucurbits, corn, and onions. More importantly, Majestene offers an alternative to the traditional chemistries relied upon today without compromising efficacy. Majestene was recently awarded “Best New Biopesticide for 2016” by Agrow.

Success is Dependent on the “Art of Use”

For blueberry growers in a conventional or organic system, a successful IPM program starts with knowing how to best use any product. By their nature, biopesticides are preventative rather than curative in nature, meaning they should be used early. We recommend you seek the advice of your crop consultant, but also review all available information. At www.marronebio.com, growers can find labels, OMRI certificates, crop sheets, product brochures and grower testimonials.

About Marrone Bio Innovations

 

Marrone Bio Innovations (MBI) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. MBI offers effective and environmentally friendly agricultural products for higher yields and harvest quality with tools for great pest resistance management. Its biopesticide products improve worker safety and do away with residue management issues at harvest. For more information on protecting your valuable Southeast blueberry crop, contact Eric Hammons (813)967-4284 or Dave Miller (321)239-0450.