Well, the world keeps turning and a lot has changed, while some things remain the same. When "change" is referenced here, I don't mean politics!
Good change, agriculturally speaking, means that South Texas and many other states are having a beautiful spring and crops are off to a wonderful beginning. Recent 6 to 8 inch rains in the Rio Grande Valley have all but stopped the vegetable harvest, and like anyother agricultural product that is in short supply, yellow onions today are at $48 per 50 pound bag while
whites are priced at the all time high of $60/bag!! It would be nice if growers had a stable price somewhere near that range.
Generally speaking spring crops in Texas are off to the best start we've seen in years, and we are thankful for these blessings. South Texas corn is almost knee high, milo is about 6 inches tall, and the cotton is at the 3 to 4 leaf stage
and everything is beautiful. With timely follow-up rains, this season promises to be one of the best production years in memory. Here's hoping it happens.
We at Biofac Crop Care are thankful for these and the many other blessings we enjoy in this USA. Working with our customers to conserve the weight and
quality of stored grain has indeed been a pleasure for many years now. Our thanks to each of them for that opportunity. We continue to produce and ship excellent Natural Enemies that effectively kill weevils and branbugs. Photos of them and some of the pests they control can be seen on our web site by clicking on "Stored Products".
A question you may have regarding "putting bugs into the grain" will undoubtedly be about the government. You will be pleased to know that the basic research for using Natural Enemies to protect Stored Products was conducted decades ago by the USDA Stored-Products R&D Lab in Savannah, GA. You will also be pleased to know that the US Food & Drug Administration endorses the use of these Natural Enemies by law, 40 CFR,
part 180, para. 1101 of the federal register, 04/22/'92.
Temperatures are warming and Stored -Product insects will become active when grain temperatures reach the 60 to 65 degree range. The upper foot of grain and the "southern hemisphere" of storage facilities will be initial sites of activity. Watch these areas for early indications of insect populations. We
are available to discuss these matters and biological options for insect control at your convenience. I can be contacted at the address and telephones listed below.
It's always great to share in others' success, and United Farmers Coop in Nebraska is a prime example of successful pest control with Natural Enemies. Check out the new charts on measured results protecting grain naturally and saving money all the way to the bank. What a wonderful system! "Thank You"
to all Biofac's Customers for jobs well done in providing consumers the very best food in the world! They are today’s real leaders!!
Cecil Martinez, strawberry producer uses combinations of Big-Eyed Bugs, Lacewings and Predatory Mites to control his strawberry pests just fine! Cecil
believes in stewardship of resources in the field just as he believes in stewardship of the human spirit. He recently returned to Oxnard, California from Moldavia where he is involved in work teaching people to grow food for themselves, and he is also helping provide orphan children with their basic needs. Thank you ,Cecil, for your caring work! [click here to see Laubacher Farms, another strawberry success]
Whiteflies have been problematic again for South Georgia vegetable farmers. Maturing cotton and peanut crops produced “Tsunamis” of Whiteflies which inundated area vegetable crops and everything else as well. Crop damage occurred similar to that experienced in 1999 with stunting, discoloration of foliage, honeydew and sooty mold on lower leaves. It is a waste of time trying to control them by applying toxic spray materials to the vegetable crops
because of the constant flow of adults into fields of young, tender plants and the inability to hit the targeted nymphs under the lower leaves. BEST APPROACH under present practices is to control them in the vegetables is the use of “Safeticide” sprayed as 1% solution against the adult population and augmentation of Natural Enemies to kill nymphs under the leaves.
The cost of such an effort is inexpensive to initiate, and infield reproduction of the beneficials eventually out produces the pest population. Benefits accrue to both cotton/peanut farmers and vegetable farmers by relieving plant stress, producing higher quality yields per acre of all crops. Truly a WIN/WIN PROGRAM!
Gibbs Patrick Farms successfully applied a combination of four (4) Natural
Enemies to Collards during late September/October. Field “Edge” applications of this beneficial complex gave positive results from the edges inward, but pest numbers increased dramatically toward center field, with populations again declining as crops matured and cooling weather. [click here to see Gibbs Patrick Farm success]
Another technique used by W. Roberson Farms is to strip crop peas at various intervals through vegetable fields. This is a conservation practice which sets nitrogen in those strips, and it also provides a habitat more suitable to the retention of early season NATURAL ENEMY POPULATIONS prior to the establishment of the cash crop. This practice has given excellent results in
suppression of Whitefly populations this year. [click here to see W. Roberson Farm success]
MOST FEASIBLE APPROACH FOR CONTROL OF THE WHITE FLY is to initiate augmentive applications of NATURAL ENEMIES (Lacewings, Big Eyed Bugs, and Ladybugs) during mid July in cotton and peanut fields. This
approach converts a problem (Whitefly Population) into a resource (food for predators) to produce hugh numbers of Beneficial Insects (natural enemies) available to move into vegetable crops from the cotton. It’s a matter of perception and resource management to gain benefits from an unrecognized potential field insectary. email M.A. Maedgen Jr. President 04/11/01
We successfully employ Cotesia and Microplitis beneficials in controlling Diamondback caterpillars in broccoli, cabbage and kale. Dierdorff-Jackson Farms produce these cole crops with minimum use of sprayable
materials as naturally “choice” vegetables. (805) 732-9197
Clayton Rawl Farms, Inc.
Chris shows quality collards (“greens”) harvested on Rawl farms near Lexington, SC. Clayton Rawl and sons, Spanky and Chris have produced and shipped great “greens” for years, only now they are shipping more greens which have been protected from insect
destruction by “Natural Enemies from Biofac”. “Customers are delighted with the switch to nature based quality and purity.”
Russell Dionisio produces cabbage in Pueblo, CO for slaw.
Being an innovative person, Russell built this self-propelled cabbage harvesting equipment to improve harvesting efficiency.
About using Cotesia, he says, "This is the best Diamondback control I've had!"..."Last year my cabbage looked like it had been shot with a shotgun." Biofac beneficials help in Colorado!
Microscopic Wasp Knocks Out Boll Worms
in Cotton Fields
Entomologists agree natural predators out perform insecticides..
By parasitizing moth eggs before a boll worm can
emerge to damage or destroy cotton Trichogramma Wasp can help cotton growers obtain a much higher yield. USDA and University researchers have demonstrated in numerous tests the effectiveness of Trichogramma in controlling over 600 species of egg laying moths. North and South Carolina cotton farmers have a golden opportunity to reduce bollworm damage and increase their yields by releases of an abundance of programmed pharate adult
Trichogramma at predetermined times based on research data from Clemson and North Carolina State University entomologists.
This release program works, for it prevents worms from developing. Early season insect control may be obtained with up to three cemmical sprays, depending upon early season pest pressure.
After this, protection of the crop is turned over to the native beficial insects and to very large numbers of Trichogramma that are released every three to four days. Researchers on moth arrival dates have pinpointed the time to start releasing Trichogramma to provide protection against boll worms. When the first flights start, a cotton producer should already have 50,000 Trichogramma per acre.
When the second flight starts in July, sustained releases begin and 50,000 trichogramma are released every three to four days throughout the egg laying season. In South Carolina, ten releases should control boll worms. Field examinations will determine if additional releases are necessary to obtain the highest possible yields.
Where Trichogramma have been released on a sustained basis in correct numbers, they have, in every study, provided the best results in killing power, highest yields, and less cost than any other program, including pesticides.
Dr. Dan Gonzales, University of California, Riverside divided an 80
acre field into five sections and compared Trichogramma, Lacewings, Wheast, a control and pesticides combination of Fundal/Methyl Parathion. After two years he stated, “Trichogramma was definitely established as being an effective and feasible control measure when used as a part of an augmentation program. This was clearly established both in terms of killing power and in terms of economics. There were fewer boll worm eggs and surviving larvae in Trichogramma plots;
and those plots also had higher yields than those treated with insecticides.
Please contact Biofac with questions or comments.
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