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Week 29 – July 15, 2024

Tech Training

PLANT HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS PART II: NUTRIENT DISORDERS (7/8/2024)

Nutrient deficiencies and toxicities commonly occur during commercial production when there are issues with the substrate pH, electrical conductivity (EC) or fertilizer management. First, identify and describe the observed symptoms and compare them with published descriptions. Then, check the current fertilization strategy and confirm the diagnosis with in-house nutrient monitoring techniques.


PLANT HEALTH DIAGNOSTICS PART I: IDENTIFYING SYMPTOMS (7/8/2024)

There are many important considerations when trying to diagnose a plant health issue, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Remember the 3 Ds of Diagnostics: DESCRIBE the symptoms, DETERMINE the affected plant parts and consider the symptom DISTRIBUTION. The following tips pose some key questions to consider when starting the diagnostic process.


CHEMICAL ROTATIONS (7/8/2024)

Chemical pesticides are essential tools used to control the development and spread of pests and pathogens including insects, mites, fungi, and bacteria. Over time, the consistent use of similar chemicals can result in the target pest or pathogen developing resistance to that type of chemical, rendering them ineffective. Insecticides and fungicides are grouped based on chemical properties, and these groups should be rotated to prevent resistance and preserve these valuable tools.


TRANSPLANTING BEST PRACTICES (7/8/2024)

Bringing in plugs and liners is a great way to start a successful growing season. While it is easy to focus on finishing, it is just as essential to start off on the right foot at transplant. As production ramps up, it is important to continue following best practices from the time young plants are received. Following these best practices will produce the best quality plants going into the greenhouse and make the growing side easier.


ON-SITE PATHOGEN TESTING (7/8/2024)

Time is money when debating what to spray on diseased crops. However, knowing the target pathogen prior to making a corrective chemical application is not only a legal requirement but also helps provide the best outcome for your crop and wallet. ImmunoStrips, offered by Agdia, provide a quick and easy way to conduct on-site tests for a variety of plant pathogens. This video from Agdia provides a quick tutorial on how to use an ImmunoStrip, but there are some specific considerations to keep in mind to make the most of your testing.


BREAKING THE GREEN BRIDGE (7/8/2024)

What do we mean by “breaking the green bridge”? After the last plants have shipped out and the greenhouse is empty for the season, remaining pests and pathogens require a host to survive and bridge to the next crop. Whether that host is a holdover from the previous crop, a pet plant, weeds growing under benches, loose debris, or an algae-covered surface, these hosts provide refuge and an avenue for pests and pathogens to find the next crop. This is why it is important to not only empty the greenhouse between crops, but also to sanitize and ensure everything is done to start clean and stay clean during the next production cycle.