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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.

Goal: Raise $1.5 million through industry support to conduct new and innovative research leading to effective control procedures and management strategies. The research will lead to reduced losses and higher quality flowers and plants.


AFE is in the early stages of fundraising, so industry-wide support and funding is needed!

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 of Cut Roses
    • Objective: Developing and understanding the relationships between the greenhouse environment, such as temperature and cultural practices on Botrytis spore populations in cut roses.
  2. Spray Application of Calcium and Silicon on Flower Petals to Improve Resistance to Botrytis Infection and Western Flower Thrips Feeding
    • Objective: Evaluating the effect of calcium and silicon to improve flower petal resistance to Botrytis and western flower thrips.
  3. Ultraviolet Light for Integrated Pest Management of Western Flower Thrips
    • Objective: Determining the effect of the western flower thrips’ lethal dose of UV-C exposure on the growth and flowering of roses and mums under lab conditions.
  4.  Distinction of Arthropod-Induced Stressor of Chrysanthemum Using Hyperspectral Imaging Technologies
    • Objective: To provide novel and innovative insight into the practical potential of robotics and machine vision as part of improving and automating crop monitoring inside greenhouses.
  5. Integrate Management of Thrips Using New Generation Bioinsecticides and Commercially-Reared Natural Enemies
    • Objective: To screen new biochemical pesticides for activity against WFT in rose v. ‘Tropicana’ and evaluate promising materials in replicated greenhouse rose trials with natural enemies (predatory mites.) Conduct grower demonstration trial using the best program in Texas and with Columbian flower grower cooperator.
  6. Manipulating Nutrient Inputs to Reduce Thrips in Flower Crops
    • Demonstrate that lowering nutrient inputs by 25-50% reduces thrips incidence and damage in a crop without affecting plant performance and quality. Plants will be more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses, and the efficacy of biocontrol programs improved. Optimize fertilizer levels will reduce input costs and help growers to deal with stricter environmental regulations to reduce nutrient run-off.

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