IPM method is used in greenhouses more often during the first crop combination (winter-spring period) due to climatic and economic conditions in our region. Though this period is more favorable for beneficials population development, it is important to follow some certain rules while their introduction.
Climatic conditions in the greenhouse is the first thing to pay attention to when you apply IPM method. Beneficials mainly develop better under higher humidity and moderate temperatures. Thus they are less effective in summer (second cycle) in areas with continental climate. On contrary, pests’ population increases in dry and hot weather. Especially at the beginning of the second crop combination when young plants cannot maintain higher humidity in their herbage. Specifically, some types of beneficials are sensitive to low humidity (e.g. Phytoseiulus persimilis) due to microclimate in the crop and can normally maintain and increase their population.
However, we should remember about minimal temperatures when beneficials can develop and populate quite actively. It should be mentioned that even using predators only in winter-spring period, suitable climate conditions should be created in the greenhouse and only after that start introduction.
The second what should be considered during IPM application is the speed of population development both pests and predators in the greenhouse. Therefore, weekly monitoring should be conducted. It helps to reveal phytophagan thresholds. Also preventive introductions of beneficials will be made.
ECO Culture provides necessary biological agents and qualified monitoring for effective pest control.
Applying any given predators, you should also consider species characteristics. For example, Encarsia Formosa is rather sensitive to illumination and duration of daylight. This parasite wasp is less active if the daylight is less than 16-18 hours and the brightness is less than 7000 luces.
One of the peculiarities of Macrolophus caliginosus is its rather long development (6-8 weeks). Whitefly, the main pestcontrolled by macrolophus, develops during 10-14 days. For this reason, the predator should be introduced into the crop beforehand in order it could grow its population. Furthermore, the predator develops better when it can find much food. Taking into account all the above, it is more effective to make feeding of macrolophus by the method of bio-rows. In this case, beneficial and its feeding are introduced only in special place (separate rows of plants) in the greenhouse.
What beneficial to choose depends on the crop you grow. Some entomophages survive better on one crop and are less effective on another one. Predatory mites, for instance, poorly develop their population on tomato. On the other hand, many species of beneficials prefer pepper as this crop produces much pollen that is the additional source of protein nutrition.
IPM (Integrated pest management) means controlling various pests by agro technical and biological methods. However, it is impossible to control them without chemicals at high pest density. In such case it is better to apply selective products with short decomposition of active ingredient in the environment.
Lots of industrious hydroponic greenhouses begin to prepare for the new crop combination with sowing seeds in mineral-cotton pots during abandonment operations. After that young seedlings can be planted in the greenhouse after a short period (about a week). If the pest was detected, take immediate measures of control. Usually producers use chemicals compatible with beneficials and introduce beneficials into hot spots. It is better to use loose material into hot spots on early crop development stages.
There are mainly adults in the loose material that enhances sharp increase in predator’s population. Also this helps to control peats quickly. Bag material is used more in cases when the crop makes herbage to maintain its microclimate. These bags are like hatchers that contain different predator instars and they provide long control. It is very important to study nursery transplants (e.g. rose nursery transplants) if they have any diseases when you are going to get them from other greenhouse. It is the most common way to bring the new pests to a greenhouse.
Finally, it should be remembered that the efficacy of beneficials depends on the chemicals that were used in the end of crop combination and during abandonment operations after.
Some preparations can prevent beneficials from establishment in the greenhouse for a long time after their introduction.
ECO Culture specialists will provide you with consulting and products of high quality for successful introduction of biological agents into your crop.