Using multiple pesticides together to prevent a broader spectrum of pests is common in the floriculture industry, but it can be difficult confirming those pesticide mixtures are beneficial and safe for plants. Researchers A.L. Willmott, R.A. Cloyd and K.Y. Zhu from Kansas State University aim to better inform the industry about pesticide mixtures in a research report recently released by AFE.
“This research will help keep growers from using mixtures that are a waste of time and money and will result in crop damage,” Cloyd said. “This will help them determine which combinations to use, and they may not have to make as many applications.”
Cloyd said that pesticides were once broad and “killed just about everything,” but pesticides produced since the 2000s generally target one specific pest, meaning more greenhouse producers are combining different pesticides to ensure the prevention of a broad spectrum of pests.
The results of the research, which focused on preventing western flower thrips, were promising: none of the pesticide combinations used against western flower thrips that the researchers studied were detrimental to the plants.
The long-term goal of this research is to develop a database that will teach the industry which pesticide combinations are effective and which mixtures to avoid.
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