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Partnering for Pesticide Reduction: Using grower partnerships to develop resources for increasing use of biocontrol in NYS greenhouses 2011

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Project Leaders: Elizabeth Lamb, NYS IPM, Cornell University; Brian Eshenaur, NYS IPM, Cornell University.

Cooperators: Karen Dean Hal, NYS Flower Industries; Karen English, NYS IPM, Cornell University; Mark Yadon, Mischler's Florist & Greenhouses; Debbie Palumbo Sanders, Lucas Greenhouses; Dan Gilrein, CCE Suffolk County; John Sanderson, Entomology, Cornell University.

Abstract: New York State has approximately 23.8 million square feet of greenhouse space for the production of floricultural crops with over 800 producers. Insect pests are usually controlled through a combination of cultural and chemical methods and the majority of growers use some integrated pest management (IPM) practices in their insect management system.  Because of the number of pests that thrive in the greenhouse environment and consumer demand for high quality plants, the total number of insecticide applications made to a crop can be high. Biological control of insect pests as an alternative to chemical insect management fits well into many greenhouse IPM programs.   However, adoption by growers is limited by the complexity of incorporating it into an existing production system, confusion on how it can be integrated with chemical control, and the relatively small number of existing users and educators who can provide information and assistance to growers.  Because of this, growers from New York and throughout the northeastern US have identified the need for resources on how to use biocontrol as one of their educational priorities.