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Botrytis and Thrips Campaign


Botrytis damage

In 2017, a special research campaign was established to address the control and management of botrytis and thrips.

Losses from these pests affect all segments of the industry every day. Botrytis and thrips are challenging to control using currently available pesticides and management strategies.

AFE’s goal of reaching $1.5 million in pledges was met in 2019 with contributions from 24 industry leaders and organizations to support new and innovative research to address these challenges. With those funds, AFE has been able to support EIGHT multi-year research projects to reduce losses and produce higher-quality flowers and plants.


Visit Our Thrips & Botrytis Research Library!



Research and research findings like those presented today are possible only through industry support and contributions. Thanks to generous donors, AFE can provide research solutions to support a stronger industry. Consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support the future of the floral industry.

Click here to download and fill out the form to support this important initiative.
Contact AFE Research Coordinator Dr. Terril Nell for more information!


Rose Buitenhuis, of The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Lincoln, Ontario, and Melissa Muñoz Agudelo, of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina spent a day visiting Colombia growers before making presentations at Proflora 2017.

The following research projects are currently being funded by the Endowment:

  1. Finding Solutions to Pre-Harvest Botrytis Infection and Thrips Infestation of Cut Roses: Drs. James Faust/JC Chong, Clemson University
    • Objective: Develop and understand the relationships between the greenhouse environment, such as temperature, humidity, leaf wetness and cultural practices on Botrytis and thrips infestation spore populations in cut roses.
  2. Optimizing the Efficacy of Beneficial Bacteria against Botrytis Blight in Greenhouse Crops: Michelle Jones, The Ohio State University
    • Objective: To determine the best method of applying the bacteria to maximize Botrytis control.
  3. Manipulating Nutrient Inputs to Reduce Thrips in Flower Crops: Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
    • Objective: Determine if reduced nutrient regimes and biostimulant treatments reduce thrips population growth without negatively affecting plant quality, and test if treatments will improve relative efficacy of biocontrol strategies against thrips in a complete IPM strategy.
  4. Evaluation of Alternative (non-fungicide) Treatments Including Biological Control Agents and Systemic Acquired Resistance-Inducing Compounds for Botrytis Control: Jim Faust, Guido Schnabel, and Melissa Munoz, Clemson University
    • Objective: To identify biological alternatives to fungicides that are effective for Botrytis cinerea management in floriculture crops Move to Disease Management
  5. Can Western Flower Thrips be Managed in Commercial Greenhouses with UV Light: Bruce Parker, University of Vermont
    • Objective: To investigate the use of UV-C light as a significant component of an IPM strategy to manage western flower thrips in commercial greenhouses.
  6. Evaluating Potential of Chitosan to Promote Botrytis Resistance and Plant Performance: Dr. Ryan Dickson, University of Arkansas
    • Objective: Evaluation of the potential for CHT sprays to control botrytis and influence plant performance during post-production of floriculture crops.

Thank you to the following organizations who have made contributions in support of this important initiative:

  • Altman Plants
  • Ball S.B.
  • Bouquet Collection, Inc.
  • CalFlowers
  • Colombia Flower Council by Asocolflores & AFIF
  • Continental Flowers
  • Equiflor Corp. – Rio Roses
  • Falcon Farms, Inc.
  • FlorExpo, LLC
  • Fresca Farms
  • Golden Flowers
  • Jardines de los Andes
  • Joseph H. Hill Memorial Foundation, Inc.
  • Kee Kitayama Research Foundation
  • Len Busch Roses
  • Mayesh Wholesale Florist
  • Metrolina Greenhouses
  • Passion Growers
  • Royal Flowers
  • Tagawa Greenhouses
  • The Elite Flower Company
  • The Queen’s Flowers Corp.
  • Solé Farms
  • Sunshine Bouquet Company

Important Resources:


  1. Designing Your Greenhouse IPM Program
  2. IPM: Prevention and Early Intervention
  3. Rise of Microbes Offers Growers Important New Tools
  4. IPM Update: 1001 Ways to Use Predatory Mites
  5. How to Use Non-Crop Plants in Your Thrips IPM Programs