Industry Input Sought in Biologicals Survey

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Industry

Biologicals Survey

Growers and crop care professionals are being asked to participate in a biologicals survey. Extension Entomologist and Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, Surendra Dara put the online survey together. The goal is to see what kind of biologicals, microbials, or other biological pesticides are being used in various crops in California.

“It will help us to understand what are the current uses of various biological materials or products like microbials, biopesticides based on botanical extracts or microbial materials,” Dara explained. “This helps us to know what is being used and if there are any knowledge gaps and what needs to be done to encourage their use.”

There has been a growing interest in biologicals and other similar materials in recent years. New products continue to come into the market with steady investment in additional development. The growing interest and availability of biological products adds to the need for further understanding of their role in an integrated pest management (IPM) approach.

“The issue is that we need really to understand how each of these products work or the active ingredient works, especially when we have microbes as active ingredients. Each microbe may have different environmental requirements or target species, or life stages of those species. We really need to understand all of these dynamics,” said Dara. “We do need a lot more research in the applied area to see what the efficacy is and how best we can make use of them as a part of IPM.”

The survey seeks to gather a baseline of grower understanding and experience with biologicals. Data from the biologicals survey will be kept anonymous and integrated into a report with information from another similar survey in the Pacific Northwest. “This survey is going to be very useful for us to understand the needs of biologicals and we can fine-tune our research and outreach efforts accordingly,” Dara explained.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West