Ag Community Continues Look at Using Biologicals for Pest Control

Development continues for a variety of biological controls for crop pests and disease utilizing living organisms; part of evolving innovations in agriculture.

“Products use beneficial bacteria to control disease in primarily vegetable crops,” noted Jason Ward of Novozymes.

In terms of how this bacteria combination controls disease:

“First they do it by populating the leaf surface so that the disease you want to control don’t have a place to live,” Ward said. “The other way they work, is they produce metabolites witch, actually, are anti-fungal in nature.  So if disease does land on the leaf, then they repel that disease with these metabolites.”

Meanwhile, USDA researcher, Shawn Steffan, is among those developing a bio-insecticide to fight cranberry insect pests. “Two species, together, represent our nematode blend.  We’ve shown that relatively low rates, they confer really high percent kill rates.”

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