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Producing high quality ornamental crops with limited chemical options: A Canadian perspective

Anissa Poleatewich: University of New Hampshire

<div>The use of integrated pest management strategies has been widely adopted among Canadian ornamental growers for management of pests and diseases. A key driver is the high costs and limited number of pest control chemicals available to Canadian growers compared to their U.S. counterparts, which poses a competitive disadvantage. Strict regulations limit the number of new registrations and have prompted deregistration or limited use of key active ingredients. These challenges have increased research and adoption of other strategies to manage pests and diseases. The Canadian greenhouse industry has positioned itself as a leader in the implementation of biological control of insect pests with little to no chemical inputs. While innovation in disease management lags behind insect control, growers are finding success with IPM strategies, particularly with an emphasis on prevention. With limited curative options, sanitation and water treatment are essential to providing a solid foundation at the beginning of the production cycle. Cultural and biological strategies used in Canadian ornamental production will be discussed. A case study will also be presented to illustrate the value of prevention in producing high quality crops with little chemical input. In this study, the combination of sanitizing production surfaces, raising pots off the ground and application of biopesticides was as effective as a chemical program in terms of plant marketability and disease incidence.</div>

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