For most, it seems like the pandemic has wholly stopped the world. While most are wondering what to do with their time, growers have no shortage of time and instead are wondering what to do with their plants and concerned on how to preserve their quality until they can ship them. Slower plant sales could occur annually due to several factors, such as the weather. But the global outbreak of COVID-19 has tremendously impacted the ornamental market, leaving growers with plants past their original sale date. However, this does not mean that the plants must be thrown out.
Industry experts have been working to provide solutions for those that face the challenge of holding their plants. Michigan State University Extension and others have cultural and chemical recommendations for holding spring plants when the market is not ready such as lowering the temperature, spraying plant growth regulators (PGR) to slow down the growth, and adjusting watering practices.
However, the practices used to hold plants may increase the presence of diseases or exposure to pests. “Holding plants creates stresses on the plant that can lead to reduced vigor and plant competition for light and space,” said Kemin Crop Technologies expert grower and Sales Manager, Vince Livengood. “Each day, a plant held in the greenhouse is exposed to an increased risk of infestations from insects or developing fungal diseases like botrytis, the highest threat right now in a greenhouse due to higher humidity from lower temperature set-up.”
Having pests at any time during a plant’s lifecycle can reduce its full potential, which is the last thing that growers want to be worrying about. An efficacious way to manage unexpected pests in your operations on hold is to apply the right type of pest control and take advantage of botanical oil-based pesticides. Vince Livengood highlights: “We have a line of 25(b) exempt pesticides designed to be zero-day PHI, zero-hour REI, so when comes the day for shipping arrives, grower won’t be affected by any additional delay due to chemical applications.”
TetraCURB™ Concentrate: A ready-to-use smart blend of rosemary oil with soap and emulsifier, contact miticide-insecticide for the broad control of soft-bodied insects such as mites, aphids or whiteflies on all crops.
Thymox Control®: A ready-to-use thyme oil-based contact fungicide-bactericide concentrate that instantly turns to a nano emulsion when diluted with water for superior efficacy on a broad range of fungal and bacterial diseases.
Both products have no Maximum Residue Limit (MRL exempt) and can be used for spot treatment, as stand-alone, or tank mixed with other favorite chemistries. They also have an OMRI-Listed® versions available, for those who prefer organic product application.
Kemin Crop Technologies, a business unit within Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer focused on transforming the quality of life around the world, is dedicated to the success of growers like you. We are working to continue to develop solutions to offer to you in times of need such as this.
Let us know if you are interested in knowing more about these tools for your greenhouse or operation. We want your success, even more during this unprecedented time!
More resources like this:
Michigan State University Extension - Holding Greenhouse Crops
e-Grow Alert - Tips on How to Hold 'Em
Greenhouse Grower - Tips on Holding Plants in the Greenhouse During COVID-19