Webinar Alert! Maximizing Spray Coverage and Product Efficacy

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

 Most pesticide application information is NOT geared towards protected crops, which is why maximizing your spray coverage and product efficacy is even more important for effectively combatting your pest and disease issues. 

Join Jason Deveau ('The Spray Guy') , Louis Damm (Dramm Corporation), Michael Brownbridge (Bioworks) and Colin Ashbee (Bioworks) on January 20 at 9 am EST for a series of presentations. They will be discussing spray equipment, teachings on how to analyze your spray coverage, and best spray practices for using Bioworks' products. 

While this webinar does use cannabis as the model crop, the material has far-reaching implications for all crops, so don't let this deter you from attending! 

For those who are interested in participating, click on the following link - no registration is required here, so jump on the link tomorrow morning and follow the prompts above the 'agenda'. 

Hope to see you there!

Posted by: Talia Plaskett

Controlled Environment Agriculture Webinar Series

Friday, January 14, 2022

 Dr. Fadi Al-Daoud, OMAFRA's Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist, will be hosting a webinar series focused on Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). This will cover information relevant to all  protected crops, including berries, vegetables and floriculture. 

Join Fadi, and his guest speaker Peter Kamp, in the first installment of this webinar series on January 20, 2022 at 1 pm AST. Peter will be discussing a new crop steering principle which hinge on the basis of overall water balance within a plant. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of plant steering, it operates on the basis of manipulating environmental factors to encourage vegetative or generative growth. Both vegetative and generative growth are important for establishing a healthy crop, but it is important that the timing of these two stages happens at specific time points during the cropping cycle. There are a handful of ways  we can push a crop towards increasingly vegetative growth, or increasingly generative growth, and this webinar looks to discuss a new tool to be added to our steering toolbox. For more information on crop steering, check out three of our previous posts titled 'Creating a Balance'. Each has been tagged with the tagline 'vegetative' and 'generative', so scroll through our tag list on the right side of your screen to take a look!

For anyone interested in registering for the session, click here for the link

Hope you there!

Posted by: Talia Plaskett

Whats New with Biological Control?

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

  2021 has seen a lot of new and exciting things in the world of IPM with some of the tools available to producers for managing pest populations. Please find a quick summary of some of these new developments below with their corresponding contact information – this is a list of curated material from various sources, credit must be given where credit is due!

1)Introducing Anystis, the new generalist predator in our toolbox

 Anystis is a new generalist predator which was discovered and trialed by Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. This predator has shown control over thrips and spider mites as well as suppression of aphid populations. Not only that, but it also preys on Echinothrips and mealybugs, which currently do not have effective options when it comes to biological control agents! Not only that, but Anystis is compatible with other commonly used biocontrol agents, meaning less stress about adjusting your current regimes and more success overall when it comes to targeting your problematic pests. 

The use of Anystis has been validated in commercial greenhouse trials on gerbera and sweet pepper in Ontario, and further supported by promising results generated through recent trials at Niagara College for use in cannabis to control aphids. The predator has been transferred to Applied Bio-nomics Ltd for scaling up the rearing system and commercialization, and have a limited number of mites available for growers to try.

For more information on Anystis, contact Rose Buitenhuis, PhD Senior Research Scientist, Biological Control at Vineland Research.


2)Slow-release method of nematodes

The current application of beneficial nematodes is limited to sprenches, or drenches, across the surface of the growing media. The biggest targets for beneficial nematodes are the larvae of fungus gnats and western flower thrips, as well as onion thrips pupae. While the product is quite effective, the current application method to the crop sees a few technical difficulties. These drenches/sprenches are not the most effective when it comes to penetrating deeper into the growing mix, and they must be applied on a weekly basis. Not only that, but the current methods of distribution sees a very poor storage capacity – all must be distributed at once, which leaves the small producers in a bit of a financial pinch!

E-Nema is a new tech company based in Germany. They have come out with a slow-release method for these beneficial nematodes which tackles some of the difficulties associated with the existing system. These look similar to tapioca pearls, and are designed to be incorporated into the growing mix before planting. Then, over time, they will slowly release nematodes through the entirety of your growing container. These pearls are very safe, and do not contain any harmful chemicals. In addition to that, they store quite well, which is a win for smaller producers who may not need massive volumes to be distributed all at once. The reintroduction and inoculation of low doses of nematodes has proven to be more effective than coming in hot and heavy with one dose during the cycle, and this technology allows just that! 

BioBee will be the distributer for this new product, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that! I want to give a huge shoutout to the Cannabis Cultivation & Science Podcast for keeping up with the biocontrol world and spreading the word on cool innovations like this one!

3)New rearing methodology for Phytoseiulus persimilus

Our old reliable predatory mite is coming at us new and improved! BioBee has re-evaluated their current rearing methods for persimilis and has landed on a product that addresses some of the downfalls to the original release system. The original system sees that the predators are reared on spider mites, meaning they come out of their sachets starved and ready to tackle some serious spider mites. While that works well in heavily infested crops, it doesn’t bode well for the low pest pressure grow room, or the preventative release strategy either. This new product raises the predators on mite eggs, meaning that each sachet will come with a variety of life stages, and each sachet will have a long-life span overall as these different stages progress towards adulthood. These sachets can see up to 12 days to release the contents, giving you almost 2 weeks of release from one purchase. The new food source sees that these mites are not as hungry as they would be when raised on spider mites. This means they have time to establish in the crop, as well as hunt down those low density mites that are scattered through the room. Not only that, but there is no carrier mixed in with these predators. This is a huge win for producers of heavily-trichomed crops, as their plants will no longer be littered with pesky lingering carrier bits.

Figure 1. An image of persimilis predating on a two-spotted spider mite. Photo credit: Biotactics Inc. 

This new persimilis can also be purchased in bottle form. But grower be warned! It was interestingly noted that these predators are not their characteristic red colour when you receive them from the insectary. That colour develops on the persimilis as they start feeding on spider mites. This acts as an added bonus when it comes to your scouting efforts. If you note which predators have transitioned from milky to red, you can get a sense of the pest pressure in the space and how effective your release was at managing the spider mite population.

I want to give a huge shoutout to the Cannabis Cultivation & Science Podcast for keeping up with the biocontrol world and spreading the word on cool innovations like this one!


Posted by: Talia Plaskett

Farming in a Humid Year, Part of Perennia’s “Getting into the Weeds” Seminar Series

Wednesday, November 10, 2021


We are excited to announce our virtual seminar series Farming in a Humid Year, part of our annual Getting Into the Weeds series.  This year we are excited to host five online sessions to discuss several aspects of farm management in a humid year.  For more details, please click on the links below.  Please join us as we take a deep dive into agriculture production targeting moving the industry forward!

Pesticide points and CCA CEU Points will be available!

Cutworms in Cool-Season Production

Monday, November 8, 2021

The University of New Hampshire is hosting a webinar for vegetable growers dealing with cutworm issues in cool-season production, December 1st 12-1pm.

They will cover cutworm identification, life history, and what we know about control strategies. This webinar will feature a panel of experts from around the region and there will be plenty of time for questions regarding this and other pests affecting cool-season production.

If you are interested in attending the event, register here: https://extension.unh.edu/event/2021/12/cutworms-tunnel-vegetables-other-cool-season-production-issues

Cleanfarms 2021 Unwanted Pesticides & Old Livestock/Equine Medications Collection

Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Cleanfarms 2021 Unwanted Pesticides & Old Livestock/Equine Medications Collection is happening now.  It runs from November 1 to 12.  You can take your pesticides to one of the following locations between 9 am and 4 pm:

Protected culture fertility survey!

Monday, November 1, 2021

Growing crops under cover is a separate skillset compared to growing under the open sky.  Fertility management, integrated pest management, environmental management are all very different.  Last year a survey went out to find out more about the protected culture industry in Nova Scotia.  To drill deeper on the learnings from that survey, Rosalie Gillis-Madden, Perennia's Vegetable Specialist, Talia Plaskett, Perennia's Protected Crop Specialist, and Caitlin McCavour, Perennia's new Soil Specialist would like to identify where there are knowledge gaps and pain points in protected crop production, specifically targeting fertility management.  Our goal is to determine where outreach and support might help the industry move forward and how we might serve you better.  This applies to growers who grow in soil or in substrate, who use conventional fertility or organic nutrient sources (composts, manures, organic fertilizer, etc.)  Please take the time to complete this survey to help us determine how we might best support growers, it should take you about 10 minutes to complete.

The mission of Perennia is to help farmers, fishers, and food processors be prosperous and profitable.