Ronald Valentin has noticed that there’s a much stronger awareness of the importance of clean propagation materials among North American growers compared to their European colleagues. “They speak of ‘double the trouble’ when it comes to foreign propagation materials as these often come with pests, as well as chemical residues that hinder biological control later on. Clean material and biological agents are important during the propagation phase.”
In the USA and Canada, there’s a strong emphasis on clean propagation materials. More than in Europe, is the experience of Ronald Valentin. He is director of technical business at BioWorks, producer and supplier of biological products. “Clean cuttings and young-plant materials are important for every form of crop protection, both traditional and biological. After all, the use of chemical pesticides during the production of cuttings or young plants doesn’t automatically mean they are free from pests.”
Insights from samples
A Canadian pot chrysanthemum grower for example, confirmed this when he studied unrooted cuttings of five different cultivars every fortnight during an eight-month period. All the cuttings were rinsed using ethanol. None of the samples were free of thrips. Adult thrips as well as larvae were found, in some cases no less than three adult thrips per sample.
Furthermore, 48% of the samples were infected with spider mite. “These numbers are a huge problem, especially if there are residues on the propagation materials as well. The rinsing method clearly provided more insight than visual inspection”, concludes Valentin. (..)
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