Efficacy trials to demonstrate the performance of Facin on ornamentals in greenhouses

Project BPI06-010

Project Lead

Noubar Bostanian - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Objective

To demonstrate the effectiveness of a biopesticide, FacinTM against three key pests of ornamentals in greenhouse production: western flower thrips, fungus gnat larvae, and aphids.

Summary of Results

Background

Traditionally, producers have relied on broad spectrum, conventional pesticides to control greenhouse pests, but resistance to a number of these compounds has developed within pest populations. Newer chemistries provide promising alternative modes of action, but some are persistent and can be harmful to beneficial insects used in greenhouse production systems. The intent of this project was to evaluate the value of the biopesticide FacinTM as a long term, reduced-risk tool for use in integrated management systems for aphids, thrips, and fungus gnats in greenhouse ornamentals.

Approaches

Trials were conducted in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec from 2006 to 2008, to assess the efficacy of the biopesticide FacinTM in controlling green peach aphids (Myzus persicae) infesting fuchsia or marigold plants in an experimental greenhouse. The spraying schedule was 3 applications at 7-day intervals followed by 2 applications at 14-day intervals, with one of 4 or 5 treatments: 2 different concentrations of FacinTM, industry standard (Marathon II), or negative control(s) (tap water and/or untreated control). Pest populations were evaluated before each application, as well as 24 hrs and 6/7 days following treatment. Due to unforeseen difficulties, data regarding efficacy against thrips and fungus gnats could not be provided in the project.

Results

Results from the first year of the study on aphids were inconclusive. In the second year, there was a significant decrease in aphid populations in the FacinTM-treated groups when compared with the untreated check at 24h and six days after treatment. However, two treatments of FacinTM six days apart were required to reduce aphid counts to be almost on par with the industry standard, Marathon II. In addition, relatively high levels of bud infestation were still observed after two FacinTM treatments; these levels may be unacceptable for commercial growers, but perhaps suitable for home and garden users. This project did not provide the results which were hoped for, and the likelihood of submissions for registration of this active ingredient in Canada is uncertain at this time.

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