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Plant disease and pest management in the commercial greenhouse

A commercial greenhouse or indoor farm are the perfect space for growing all manner of plants, however, this space is also perfect for the harboring of pests and disease as the conditions are ideal. Unlike in the outside world that has predators and weather to control the spread of pests and disease, a greenhouse or indoor farm is a proverbial Eden for pests and disease.

With perfect ‘weather’ and temperature, lots of food and water, and virtually no predators it should come as no surprise that plants and crops are susceptible to pests in a greenhouse or indoor farm. If left unchecked, the pests and disease can quickly overtake a growing space ultimately impacting growth, quality, and yields. As such, a commercial greenhouse or indoor farming operation should have in place an action plan for the prevention and control of pests and pathogens, also known as an Integrated Pest Management Plan or IPM Program.

An Integrated Pest Management plan is a holistic approach to managing pests and disease within a commercial grow operation. This plan uses the best tactics, tools, and strategies to both prevent and manage pests. Using an IPM plan helps in the reduction of pesticide exposure of both workers and the environment, and will overall decrease the cost associated with pesticide use.

The proper training, research, application procedures, and timing is essential in the effective control of pests and disease with both chemical and non-chemical based pesticides. The most essential part of an IPM Plan is the prevention of epidemics as many decisions for pest management cannot be made after the fact. With this in mind, there are major points to be met in the greenhouse to have an effective and preventative IPM.

Read more at RF Agriculture.

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