A Greenhouse Owner Discusses Aphid Control

Basil was big this year at Casa Verde Growers in Columbia Station, Ohio. So were parsley and cilantro. The 895,000-square foot greenhouse operation specializes in annuals, perennials and vegetable plants — but the herb business is growing fast. “We tweak production each year according to customer demands and what moved well the year before,” says Wayne Cousins, facility manager and head grower. “Herbs are picking up but we grow a little bit of everything – petunias, impatiens, Easter lilies and vegetable plants.” Casa Verde supplies nine retail stores — Petitti Garden Centers – in the Cleveland area and sells some wholesale plants to local garden centers and florists. A year-round operation, Casa Verde grows mums for the fall and poinsettias for the holidays, but gears most of its production for the spring. “You’ve got to make in the spring or it’s pretty much over for the year,” adds Cousins, who holds a master’s degree in horticulture and has been with the company for 20 years. “Our growers address each production challenge as it comes up throughout the year….mites, aphids, thrips and downy mildew are some of the issues we usually face.” Though his growers have successfully used beneficial nematodes for thrips, they tend to stick with conventional pesticides for tougher insect problems. For several years, they’ve used Aria® insecticide on crops that are particularly susceptible to aphids, such as Easter lilies, according to Cousins. “Aria is one of the main control products we use in our operation,” he notes. “It works very well for aphid control. The nice thing is that you can spot spray it where needed. “Aphids...

Measurement options for liquid pesticide formulations are all in the packaging.

When you have the option of Product A vs. Product B and all other things being equal besides the packaging style, do you make your buying decision based on differences in the measurement options that either come with or are built into the product packaging? At FMC Professional Solutions, we have a dedicated packaging engineer that helps identify the best option for the targeted use. Products are usually packaged for one acre (or larger) applications, but the measurement calibrations allow for smaller—1,000 sq ft—applications. Measuring liquid pesticide formulations accurately and easily is undoubtedly a very important part of daily T&O operations. As good product and environmental stewards, FMC Professional Solutions has long since offered multi-dose containers, squeeze and measure, and dip tube dosing chambers to facilitate product measurement with products like QuickSilver® herbicide, Talstar® Professional insecticide, Onyx® insecticide, BaseLine® insecticide, and Dismiss® herbicides. For the technician, multi-dose containers reduce the potential for exposure and messy pesticide spills. For the branch or service manager, multi-dose containers provide reassurance that products will be measured accurately. Different liquid pesticide formulations require different methods for using and maintaining the multi-dose containers, as well as other packaging with measurement features. Consider an emulsifiable concentrate (EC) versus a suspension concentrate (SC). SC formulations typically have a higher viscosity than EC formulations, so the method to accurately measure differs as it requires more time to fill the multi-dose chamber. With SC formulations, you will tip the bottle longer than you would an EC to fill to the same graduation line. Also, some formulations such as SC formulations and capsule suspensions (CS) can show phase separation after...