OSU Cultivar Trials: 2016 Season Summary

By William Barnhill, Claudio Pasian, and Tim Rhodus

Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

The 2016 summer trial was successful and showcased 607 plant entries representing 24 different commercial brands. Details can be found in the OSU Cultivar Trials: 2016 Season Summary.

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A new resource for greenhouse growers to help identify microbe-containing products advertised to enhance growth of Greenhouse Floriculture Crops

Michelle L. Jones and Laura Chapin

Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

The production of ornamental and edible crops in commercial greenhouses is high-input specialty crop agriculture. Much of the industry relies on chemical pesticides (insecticides, miticides, fungicides, and bactericides) to control pathogens and insect pests, and intense irrigation and fertilization to insure the production of high quality crops. Consumers are becoming more aware of and concerned about how their purchases impact the environment, and there is increasing market pressure on commercial greenhouses to decrease their chemical usage. Consumer, market, and grower interest in reducing the environmental impact of the greenhouse industry has led many commercial greenhouses to adopt more sustainable growing practices and to pursue sustainable certification. A survey of the industry, funded through a NIFA SCRI planning grant, confirmed that a majority of respondents were interested in using biological products as part of a more sustainable crop production system. While respondents were familiar with the use of natural predators and biopesticides, they were less familiar with the biostimulant class of bioproducts. Biostimulants directly influence plant metabolism and growth. They enhance plant growth and overall plant health by increasing root elongation, nutrient uptake, and stress tolerance.

One barrier identified by Greenhouse industry stakeholders to the use of biostimulants has been the lack of a single, non-bias resource that contains biostimulant products available for use on greenhouse floriculture crops. A database resource was created that includes a compilation of products that (1) contain microorganism(s), (2) are advertised as biostimulants (i.e., enhance plant growth), and (3) can be used in a greenhouse and/or on flowering plants.

To search for microbe-containing biostimulants for greenhouse crops please use the link below to go to the Greenhouse microbe bioproducts database. http://go.osu.edu/MicrobeBioproducts

This resource was developed with the support of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture SCRI Planning Grant – Award # 2015-51181-24284 and the OSU D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Endowment.  We are continuing to add to and update this resource.  If you have suggestions or product additions please contact Michelle Jones at jones.1968@osu.edu.

WPS for Greenhouse Employers: Who is Covered?

The majority of the 2015 revisions to EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) go into effect on January 2, 2017.  To download the complete guide HOW TO COMPLY WITH THE 2015 REVISED WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD FOR AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDES, visit the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC), http://pesticideresources.org//index.html.  Over the next few weeks, we will break down the revised WPS to help wholesale and retail greenhouse employers of workers and handlers comply with WPS. This post provides an overview of WPS responsibilities, covered establishments and exemptions as provided in the HOW  TO COMPLY manual (pp 12-14; 88-91).

WPS Responsibilities

Do you have responsibilities under WPS? The answer is YES if you are:

  • An agricultural employer: any person who is an owner of, or is responsible for the management or condition of an agricultural establishment, and who employs any worker or handler.
  • A commercial pesticide handler employer: any person, other than an agricultural employer, who employs any handler to perform handler activities on an agricultural establishment.
  • A handler: any person, including a self-employed person, who is employed by an agricultural employer or commercial pesticide handler employer and performs certain activities including but not limited to mixing, loading or applying pesticides.

Covered Establishments

The WPS applies to any establishment involved in growing, maintaining or producing agricultural plants (includes, but is not limited to, grains, fruits and vegetables; wood fiber or timber products; flowering and foliage plants and trees; seedlings and transplants; and turf grass produced for sod) for commercial and/or research or experimental purposes. Commercial production includes production of plants for sale, trade or in-house use on the establishment or another facility. The following facilities or operations may be considered an agricultural establishment for the purposes of the WPS and are covered by the rule if they use WPS-labeled pesticide products:

  • Nurseries, garden centers or other similar operations where nursery and ornamental bedding plants are maintained for sale (retail or wholesale).
  • Dairy farms that produce hay for feed for their cattle.
  • Golf course establishments that also produce sod and/or ornamentals in one area on their facility/establishment for transplanting into the golf course portion of the facility.
  • Public park operations/facilities and/or privately-held ornamental garden operations/facilities that produce ornamental plants in one area on their establishment for transplanting into the permanent park or ornamental planting portion of the facility.
  • Theme park operations (e.g., Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc.), hotels, and/or other entertainment operations that produce ornamental plants in one area on their establishment for transplanting into the permanent theme park grounds or ornamental planting portions of the facility.
  • Prisons that have “prison farms” where agricultural plants are produced and the prisoners are employed as workers and handlers.
  • University extension agricultural research facilities that conduct research on agricultural plants.
  • Educational classes or vocational agriculture programs where agricultural plants are produced as part of a class or program, students act as workers and/or handlers, and students receive monetary compensation such as a stipend, or free or reduced tuition.
  • Pine straw harvesting/production operations.
  • Government owned or managed agricultural operations.

The WPS also applies to any establishment operating as a commercial (for-hire) pesticide handling establishment that applies WPS-labeled pesticide products on agricultural establishments or provides crop advising services for an agricultural establishment.

Exemptions for Owners of Agricultural Establishments

Certain WPS requirements are exempt for owners of agricultural establishments and their immediate family members when 50% or more of equity in the establishment is owned by 1+ members of the same immediate family. Immediate family members include: spouse, parents, stepparents, foster parents, father‐in‐law, mother‐in‐law, children, stepchildren, foster children, sons‐in‐law, daughters‐in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers‐in‐law, sisters‐in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and first cousins. However,

  • No agricultural establishments that use WPS-labeled pesticide products are completely exempt from the WPS requirements.
  • Employers must provide full WPS protections for workers and handlers that are not immediate family members
  • Owners and their immediate family members must comply with some WPS requirements

A complete listing of these exemptions and exceptions can be found on pp. 88-91.

 

WPS for Greenhouse Employers: Pesticide Safety Training

The majority of the 2015 revisions to EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) go into effect on January 2, 2017.  To download the complete guide HOW TO COMPLY WITH THE 2015 REVISED WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD FOR AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDES, visit the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC), http://pesticideresources.org//index.html.  Over the next few weeks, we will break down the revised WPS to help wholesale and retail greenhouse employers of workers and handlers comply with WPS. This post provides the WPS pesticide training requirement as provided in the HOW  TO COMPLY manual (pp 27-29).

Pesticide Safety Training

All workers and handlers of agricultural employers must receive ANNUAL WPS training before they perform worker or handler tasks. Key requirements for training workers and handlers include:

  • There is no grace period for WPS training! The agricultural employer must ensure that WPS training is completed within the last 12 months before:
    • Any worker enters a treated area on an agricultural establishment where, within the last 30 days, a WPS-labeled pesticide product has been used or a REI for such pesticide has been in effect.
    • Any handler conducts any handling task.
  • Workers and handlers are exempt from WPS training if they are currently:
    • Certified as an applicator of restricted-use pesticides.
    • Certified as a crop advisor by a program acknowledged as appropriate in writing by EPA, or a State or Tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement. 170.401(b)
    • Additionally, a worker is exempt from WPS worker training if they have been trained as a WPS handler within the last 12 months.
  • The following qualified trainers may provide WPS training:
    • a certified applicator of restricted-use pesticides
    • a trainer of certified pesticide applicators, handlers or workers by the EPA, federal, state or tribal entities
    • have completed a EPA-approved pesticide safety train-the-trainer program
  • Train workers and handlers annually, once every 12 months from the end of the month when the previous training was completed.
  • Provide training in a manner that the workers or handlers can understand, using a translator if necessary.
  • Present training using EPA-approved materials either orally from written materials or audio-visually (see the video and links at the end of this post for those you can use with employees to satisfy the training requirement).****
  • Keep records of worker or handler training for 2 years from the date of training. Records must include:
    • Worker or handler’s printed name and signature
    • Training date
    • Trainer’s name and qualification(s) to train
    • Employer’s name
    • Identification of EPA-approved training materials (for example, the EPA document or approval number)
  • Make training records available to employees upon request.
  • All training requirements are effective January 2, 2017 EXCEPT the expanded training content which is effective January 2, 2018.

****As part of the revised WPS, the following training video satisfies the pesticide safety training requirement for agricultural workers about pesticides under the revised WPS. Additional videos are available in English and Spanish with or without closed-captioning at the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC), http://pesticideresources.org//index.html.