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Invasive Alert!: Emerald Ash Borer

Invasive Alert!: Emerald Ash Borer

Keep an eye out for the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis. It has been detected in 24 states, including our state of Washington, and parts of Eastern Canada. Civic involvement in pest ID and entomology is a powerful thing. Please inspect your local trees. 

In Washington, our native "Oregon Ash" Fraxinus latifolia is of particular concern. Additionally white ash (F. americana) and green ash (F. pennsylvanica) are common targets as they are often planted as ornamental shade trees. If you suspect EAB, please call 1-800-443-6684.

See this link for more information regarding ID, and what you can do. 

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Beneficial Entomopathogenic Nematodes for Pest Control

Beneficial Entomopathogenic Nematodes for Pest Control

It's commonly known that there are pathogenic nematodes which can cause damage to plants, but did you know that there are species of nematodes which are actually used to control pests? We refer to these beneficial nematodes as entomopathogenic nematodes. We like to think of beneficial nematodes as a fantastic starting place for those new to biocontrol. Why? Because they truly work so well, AND they are compatible with many pesticides and fungicides. In other words, even conventional growers can seamlessly integrate nematodes into their operation without forfeiting the use of various conventional pesticides they may be using in their IPM program. Sound too good to be true? We know these little roundworms are extremely tough and efficacious. As an example, nematodes can actually freeze their metabolism in the absence of adequate food or oxygen, but continue to survive until circumstances improve. This state is called "cryptobiosis". Additionally, after the 1981 Columbia space shuttle disaster, nematodes were the only known survivors.

When you are considering which nematodes to purchase, consider not only the correct speci you need to control the problematic pest at hand, but also the production method. Nematodes produced "in vivo" tend to yield a very high numbers of infective juveniles which are largely responsible for the killing of pests. This production method utilizes wax worm cadavers to breed healthy nematodes, which contain a very high level of infective bacteria (see the featured diagram of the life cycle). In vivo nematodes also requires a much lower application rate per sq. ft. of soil when compared with "in vitro" nematodes. 

Our Sierra nematodes are produced in vivo and yield exceptional results for our customers. For more information about Sierra nematode production, species available, and some guidelines for speci and pest pairing, refer to this link or feel free to contact us directly for more information.

 

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Watch Your Feet!

Watch Your Feet!

When it comes to your IPM program, are you employing all the stops? Are you adequately considering these components of your IPM program?

 

1)Removing debris (cultural control)- fungal pathogens (i.e. botrytis).

2)Properly sanitizing surfaces, pots, soil, and tools.

3)Stopping entry and vectoring at the door!

 

Proper sanitation is imperative for maintaining a good integrated pest and disease management program and stopping pests “at the door” should be the first line of defense. Within the larger industry, there are an array of needs in the sanitation department. Without being able to touch on them all, let’s talk about your feet! As we approach fall weather, pests are certainly looking to hitch a ride into indoor environments and greenhouses. That said, vectoring pests in and out of various facilities, greenhouses, or rooms, is a potential problem all season long. How are your growers and employees moving through the facility? Avoid allowing growers to work in contaminated areas and then move to propagation later in the day. Consider supplying a change of clothes and even crocs or boots for employees. 

We work to stay abreast of all the updates and changes in the industry and in biocontrol and share that information with all of you. That said, some trusted principles and products have not changed for decades and remain trusted industry standards.

To assist with this continued concern, we made have ordered in products to make it easy for our customers. Whether you are moving from stock to finishing areas, or from outdoors to indoors, having a sanitation mat is critical for vectoring reduction. For fall, we are combining the long-standing industry sanitation product, Green Shield, with the sanitation mats as a package deal. We don’t want you to call us in crisis!

For $147 you can receive 1 gallon of Green Shield with our favorite type of sanitation mat.

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Sound Hort's Sounding Board

Sound Hort's Sounding Board

We’ve seen so many changes over the last couple years, within our business as well as the many varied sectors of organic agriculture, conventional agriculture, and larger horticultural industries. The use of biocontrol is expanding with each year, and with that, our business has been growing. In fact, we just moved to a larger facility to accommodate additional warehousing of biological products and to expand the capacity of our shipping facility. Last year, we started our ecommerce online store to accommodate customers who prefer to shop online. As an extension of that, we are working to keep our blog updated with pertinent information for all of you working to continually improve and learn. We pride ourselves in our customer service and go out of our way to host workshops, make ourselves available to customers, and to openly share pertinent information to all of you who are trying shore up your pest management.

It’s estimated that 40% of the world’s food production is lost each year due to pest and diseases related failure. Our goal is to provide tactics and products in order to properly manage pests, while remaining environmentally conscious. Additionally, we encourage growers to develop natural habitats for hosting beneficial populations. We recognize that the growth we are experiencing is an industry-wide and environmental success. Pest resistance to conventional chemicals is not going away, while the domestic and international tightening of chemical regulation is on the rise. As growers experience the limitations of chemicals, they are now leaning on biological controls and biologically based practices. Meanwhile, consumers are asking that their products be produced using clean practices, whether it be ornamental crops, food crops, herbs, cannabis, or the plant based inputs of their supplements…EVERYTHING! We find this grassroots movement extremely exciting and encouraging!

So welcome to the green side! We are here to assist.

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PNVA Conference

The annual Pacific Northwest Vegetable Association Conference will be held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA on November 14th & 15th. Come join other growers, vendors, and support sponsors for talks about the industry, breakout speakers, and social events. Alison will be speaking about IPM in organic agriculture at 11:30am on November 15th (summary below). See you there!

Biocontrol Bandwidth:  Biopesticides , Beneficial Insects or Both?
Vegetable growers are increasingly relying on biological controls for both pest and disease control. This session will examine some of the evolving applications and approaches, and help you add more options to your evolving toolbox. Application protocols for beneficial insects vary greatly, so this presentation will give and overview various release methods for small to large growers. We’ll cover important compatibility issues as they relate to botanical, microbial and organic materials that are in current practice.

Click here to register!

 

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Farwest 2018

The Farwest Show is coming up again! The biggest green industry show in the west, it will be held August 22-24th, 2018, at the Oregon Convention Center. This year Sound Horticulture has moved to a more central location at booth #17027! We really hope that a wide assortment of our growers can take time to attend this important event. We'll have some beautiful items to send with you back to your operations - a really nice poster and other surprises.

Please come and visit with us during the show! You'll gain so much from walking the show floor and attending some of the educational seminars. Thanks, and see you there!

Click here to register!

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Cannatank 420 this week!

The event runs from March 30-31, 2018, in Spokane, WA. Catch Alison's talk on Friday morning from 10-10:45am and on Saturday from 1-1:45pm!

 

Dialing the Biological  Clock:

Tuning and Timing of Biological Control Programs for Cannabis
In this presentation Alison will highlight program BMP's for scouting, monitoring, preventing and controlling our most pervasive pests in Cannabis: hemp russet mites, broad mites, spider mites, thrips and now also the cannabis aphid. From basics to fine tuning, we'll dissect the challenges in biological programs. We'll discuss how best to nail the timing of your applications of both microbial products as well as predators, parasitic wasps and beneficial nematodes. Click here for more info on Alison's sessions.

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Grow Pro with Alison Kutz

 

Cultivation and Processing Knowledge

 

Integrated Pest Management with Alison Kutz: March 28, 2018 6-8pm

 

1901 S. Jefferson Ave, Tacoma, WA

 

 

From the Grow Pro website: The Grow Pro event series was designed to help you reach your maximum potential. We are proud to bring thought leaders and specialists to speak with our attendees about their craft. We are very excited to feature Alison Kutz of Sound Horticulture to speak about integrated pest management. Come meet Alison and listen to her share her wealth of knowledge that she has gained in the nearly forty years she has been in business.

 

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Resources from Cultivating Commercial Cannabis workshop

Thanks to all who attended our event Cultivating Commercial Cannabis Sustainably! For your convenience, we have provided links to several of the slideshow presentations from the day. As always, don't hesitate to contact us with questions, comments or orders!

Worker Protection Standards by Neil Lanning

Biocontrols in Cannabis: the West Side Story by Alison Kutz

Preventing Disease Sustainably by Sarah Brackman

Crop Waste Options by Andrew Corbin

Pesticide and Fertlizer Use on Marijuana in Washington by Erik Johansen

Selecting the Right Sprayer

 

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