Bug Bites! Session 3: Quality checks and post-delivery handling

February 9, 2021

Video Transcript

 Good morning, everyone. Welcome to "Bug Bites." My name is Jeremy and I am a greenhouse agent with Michigan State University extension. This is the third in a series of short seminars by industry experts on topics suggested specifically by growers here in Michigan. Before we start, I wanted to bring your attention to the Q and A button located at the bottom of the Zoom window. Please feel free to submit questions at any point during the presentation I'm going to be keeping track of them and I'll be sure to give our guests a chance to answer them at the end of the presentation. Chris Anzell has been involved in the Michigan horticulture industry for 45 years in a variety of roles. Starting in a small greenhouse in East Detroit, he has a tremendous amount of experience in nursery stock sales, and has now come full circle back to the greenhouse industry helping growers maximize their success with bio-control agents and other beneficial organisms as a technical rep for Koppert Biological Systems. Chris, thanks for joining us. - Yes. - How important are post-delivery handling practices when it comes to maximizing the efficacy of biological control agents? - It may sound like a simple subject, but it actually is one of the most important aspects is, it's knowing what you've got knowing what it should look like and that it's capable of performing the way you intended it to perform. So very important. - Gotcha. Gotcha. So what do you have for us today? - So basically I wanted to thank you for giving us this format. That's awesome. I appreciate that. And thank you for all those that are attending today. I appreciate that as well. I hope I can parlay some important and like I said earlier, simple but important facts that will make your experience with biologicals go a lot better. So I am going to start sharing my screen here. And... Lets see if this works. There we go. - Look's great. - So just to add to Jeremy's background on myself. About six years ago, I came across this opportunity to work with Koppert and the more and more I read about the type of work that they did and the product that they're producing and what it meant for our industry as a whole, I was really excited about it and said that that's something I'd really wanna put myself behind and put my effort into. So I joined Koppert and after some extensive training and getting some catch up from when I was in the industry earlier, I embarked on educating our clients and I've really enjoyed doing that. That is one of the things that we pride ourselves on is educating our clients. And I think that's the number one objective in our industry. So what you're seeing in the background there that's our headquarters in the Netherlands. And then of course in the US here we have headquarters in Howell, Michigan. And just to give you a little background by any means there's the insects that are produced in the Netherlands. And then actually shipped to Michigan where they're redistributed to our clients in the US. And that'll come into play a little bit later on in my discussion. Like I said before, one of the biggest things that we look to do is to educate our customers so that their experience with biological controls is a good one. I liken it to giving somebody a keys to a car, they need to know how to drive it in order to get their best experience with it. And hopefully I can relay some of those concepts today. So post delivery handling, and quality checks. There's actually, there's three key elements to that. And one of them is basically on the receiving end. Certain things that you do when you receive product and what those things should be. The second most important would be storage. Can I store these? Should I store these? And how? And then finally the deployment. There are certain key things that are involved just prior to, or during a deployment to ensure that the product that you're using is going to be a viable and going to work like it was intended to work. And what I'm gonna do is I'll break it down to each different products. I think that that was the most logical way to do this would be starting with... First of all, with quality checks at the production level. So as a supplier of biologicals they're raising these insects in laboratory conditions and therefore they're doing quality checks in terms of what they're producing, how many, et cetera. So that they can forecast what their ultimate production is and what they can supply to their clients. So that's the first step in quality control. That you're producing a viable insect that it's acting or the behavior of that particular insect is behaving the way it should. And there's a lot of things that can affect that. One of them would be the actual carrier material that they're in. And then also obviously environmental conditions have a great impact. So something as simple as, some of these predator mites are transported in a carrier such as saw dust or a bran from some type of a grain plant. And how they actually interact and or behave in that carrier makes a huge difference. So that's where quality control comes into play on the production. Secondly, then when outgoing product is shipped out they wanna know, okay, if what the product that's being put into the bottles into the boxes are performing and or are counts that are what are advertised on the packaging. And one of the things that we can expect to happen during shipping is there is going to be some attrition in or death of some of the insects while they're being shipped, Either because of the age that they are in the, and or because of environmental conditions in that packaging. So you can expect some of those insects to die inside that packaging. So the insect rearing companies should be actually putting in extra insects, extra individuals into the product to ensure that when you received it you were getting the count that you anticipated or the count that is is advertised. And then the next step in that whole process is when that product comes in before it's distributed to the customers, the clients that it should be quality controlled or checked prior to shipping out to the final user. So samples are taken and, the best way I can describe it. If you remember from biology class, if you ever did a a grade where you had to count bacteria or fungi on a plate that's more or less the basics of what are done. And then of course various manufacturers have their own techniques of how they quality control each and every product that they ship out. So that's the beginning of the process. And then when it finally reaches you then we need to know several key points. So the shipping container is gonna be insulated to protect it from a hot or cold temperatures outside and that can greatly affect those individuals in that shipping container. You almost have to look at it as a microclimate in terms of what's going on inside of the bottle, let alone what's going on outside. So a variance of 10 degrees outside can have a huge impact on those individuals inside that packaging. The other facet of the packaging is you want those bottles rolling around and were moving around or getting tossed around that it's affecting those individuals inside the containers. One of the key things with the packaging and with the shipping is there's a specific protocols for say how many ice packs are shipped with the product based on what time of year it is, or based on what the product is inside the packaging. Sometimes with other products there's no need for refrigeration. There's no need for any type of cooling and they're just shipped in a dry container. So it's best to when you receive that packaging is to question your manufacturer what to expect and what should be in that packaging. So that if there is in upon receiving that if there's any discrepancies from that, that you can that can be addressed. So besides the, imagine the insides of those bottles of for example, predatory mites, there's 50,000 of them in one bottle, they generate quite a bit of heat. And that could be the other reason for putting ice packs in it. So you'd wonder, well, the winter time why am I getting a box and it's got ice packs in it? Well, based on the product, again, that's being shipped. You may want it to cool that packaging down to prevent it from overheating and prevent the insects inside from dying. So those types of packaging can affect things from behavior and the metabolism of the insects. Certainly if they're cool, it's going to slow them down. So they'll be lethargic, they'll be pretty sedate. And so that has to be taken into consideration once you unpackage your vials. So one of the things that we wanna look at in terms of, once you receive them is the general appearance of the packaging. Has it been tossed about inside the box? Has there been any breakage? Are the ice packs sitting on any of the bottles? And or is there any spillage in the inside of the package? And as I've always said to all my clients and I would encourage everybody to please let your representative and or your manufacturer know immediately upon receipt if there's something that doesn't look right. Because as suppliers or manufacturers, consultants we want your experience to be the best. And we want that product to be, in its best condition to provide those results for you. So we need to have an opportunity to make that right. And then this is depending on how well you can decipher different smells or whatever. Generally speaking, when you open these bottles there might be a kind of an earthy smell, but if you get something rank smelling then there's a good chance that there's something amiss there and that needs to be addressed. And again, contact your rep, find out, is this what I should be smelling? Or is there something wrong with this? And most manufacturers will have something like an expiry date and, or a batch number on the packaging. So please note that when you're discussing this with your rep, and then also take photos. Photos are sometimes helpful, to give us a little bit of a clue on what what's going on or how the package was, what kind of condition it was received in so we can address the situation So now, as far as specific products starting with nematodes, for example, they are one of the ones that are most capable of storing over a longer period of time. In general, most of the vials that you receive you wanna use them as soon as possible after receiving them. Nematodes on the other hand, basically are and depending on manufacturer, but they are in a suspended animation, so to speak. They're in a carrier either a clay based formulation or a gel formulation and they can store in a refrigeration unit. In some cases up to 10 weeks. Again always go back to your manufacturer on guidance for that but that is generally one of the ones that you can store on an extended basis. What's nice about that is you can have it on hand for use when it's needed. And I have to wait until it can be supplied. As I noted there, the optimum storage there is important for that length of time of storage. Anything warmer than that, you start to edge on that side of them expiring quicker. So that's just the storage capability of nematodes. So one of the things that we always recommend is when you prior to using them, set them out essentially to get them to room temperature before you even mix them in your tank mix. Again, the idea there is getting these temperatures up to where the insect or the organism can be active and fully ready to do the task we're asking it to do. Depending on how your manufacturer with the quantity that they package them in. We never encourage using partial packages because the organisms in there are not homogenous. So it would be hard to predict if you used half a package how much material you would actually be getting into your mix and how much ultimately you would be applying to your crop. We wanna use room temperature, not tap water. It would be a good exercise to check your tap water to see where it comes in, but, as close to room temperature as possible. And then once you mix the nematodes up, initially you wanna stir them to break down all that gel or that clay and get that all distributed in the mixing bucket. And then you wanna wait and let them sit for about five minutes so that they can wake up. As I mentioned before, they're kind of in a suspended animation, and you want to give them a chance to be active. Always remix that bucket prior to adding it to your tank. And one of the things that I always encourage my clients is to take a little bit of a sample out of that bucket and check it under even just a 10 power loupe will provide you... You'll be able to see enough in there to see some activity. This particular picture I have up on the screen they're spread out a little bit. When you look at them under a 10 power loupe it's just going to look like a mass of threads in a water droplet, but it's still a good indication. You should see actual movement not just the nematodes, just sitting there but you should actually see them wriggling around. And that's always a good way to check to see if that batch is viable. But again, most important packaging has got to come up to room temp and water needs to be room temperature and you need to let them sit in order for them to activate. Once you've added to the tank you'll wanna make sure that you're aerating that tank that's before applying. You do the initial check to see if you have live individuals in the tank and then you go back and once you've put them through your wand or through your boom check a sample at that point as well to see if what you're delivering to your crop is viable and active. And then lastly, you always want to ensure that you're doing at low UV light levels, mornings, evenings, cloudy days that sort of thing to ensure that... So they're sitting on top of the plant before they run off into the soil. When you spray the drip so to speak that they're not getting fried in the sunlight. When it comes to predatory mites like I had mentioned before, there are typically there's anywhere from 4,000 to 50,000 individuals in a bottle in various types of carrier. And so with that many individuals in that bottle, there's a good amount of heat generated in their microclimate. And so that's why you'll see on the bottles will be vented. And also when they're shipped you'll always see them stored on their side. That gives more room for them to have some oxygen in that container during their shipping process. Mites are, you can't store them. I would encourage only, maybe overnight storage. I've heard stories of people put them in the refrigerator and haven't used them for a week well, we couldn't put them out until the following week. And I would not recommend that based on the fact that again, as each day goes by there'll be attrition in that population. So by the time a week rolls around you'll have less and less mites that you're applying and reducing your chances of getting the job done that you're intending them to do. So at the most, either apply the same day and or just store overnight and apply the following morning. With the mites, there's a little bit higher storage temp that's optimum. And that's not to say that you could store them at 43 degrees. You could again, but for extended period of times before you deploy them, you're always gonna wanna bring that bottle to room temperature prior to applying them. Again you want their activity to be optimum so that when you're sprinkling them out or blowing them out when they land on the crop, they can get to work. They can find shelter, whatever they need to do to inhabit the crop that you're applying them to. Just picture if they were in their metabolism was slowed down their activity was slowed down, you'd be blowing them on. And basically they roll off the plant. And it's much better to have them active when you're applying them. When you inspect your bottles of mites when you receive them you most likely we'll see activity right away and either with the naked eye or with a loupe. Some of your mites are shipped with feeder mites. So when they're bred in the lab there's other types of mites that are fed to them to grow them. And so when they're packaged those feeder mites come with the predatory mites. So when you sprinkle some of that out you view it with your loupe or with your microscope you will see there's a very good chance that you will see two different types of mites. And one of the things that I've always alerted my clients to when you're inspecting those a good way to tell the difference between a feeder mite and a predator mite generally speaking that feeder mite is gonna move a lot slower than your predator mite. So I always use the analogy. It's like a feeder mite are like cattle and the predator mite is more like the wolf. There's fewer of them, and they move quite a bit faster. So you'll see that activity in the bottle. That's a good indicator of that you do have good activity. And then when it comes to deploying them you want to make sure that you're keeping the bottles or the containers that they're in a shaded, not direct sunlight when you're putting them out. Nothing can fry a bottle of predator or mites faster than sitting in a greenhouse in the 85 degree level. And then lastly, you wanna make sure that you're rotating the bottles prior to say if you're sprinkling them out in your crop and or putting them into an application device. You wanna make sure that that carrier is rotated. That helps keep the mites evenly distributed in that carrier prior to distributing them and give them more chance of a even distribution in the crop itself. So with the parasitic wasps, these can come packaged in several different ways. And some of the more common ways would be the pupa of the the actual parasitic wasp is packaged in a some type of carrier. Be it saw dust or cocoa shells or bran of some type of grain plant. And so the pupae are in the bottle mixed in that carrier. Another method of delivering them is where the pupa is actually glued onto a little cardboard hangar. And so in those... So two different situations there. When you received those, the ones in the bottles nine times out of 10 when you open those up, you will see some activity. There may be some hatches already inside the bottle. So when you open it up, they fly up. Likewise, the ones that are on the cards they're usually packaged in a cellophane package. Sometimes you'll see the wasps inside that cellophane package indicating that there had been some hatches in that there's live viable pupa on those cards. Now, if you don't see any hatches, that's not necessarily an indication that you have a bad batch but I would encourage everyone to use what we call absence presence when scouting in their crops to check for those individuals within your crop after you've released them. One of the other helpful things that you can do on the cards, you can examine the pupae that are on the cards. Again, with the loupe you can generally see if there are hatched. Pupa there literally will be an opening in those little pupal sacks where you can see an insect has emerged. And then you can also see ones that have not hatched as well. So I encourage everyone to take a close look at those when they receive them. Same thing, you can pour out a bottle with the carrier to inspect a few of those inside the bottle just to get yourself more familiar with what you're seeing. You're using that product on a regular basis. Again, storage I only encourage overnight storage and something like that because of the attrition. Like I said there may be some live individuals in there. So if they've traveled from Europe they've been en route for two days to you. So they've come from Europe for one day and then they've traveled another day to get to you. So the sooner you put them out the better. One of the good strategies when you're releasing the predatory mites or the, excuse me the parasitic wasps is to, one you can put them in the hotspots where you're having issues. Two, you want to have not just one release site but multiple release sites. So when you get a bottle and again, I would consult with your rep on you've worked together on a strategy but multiple release sites are much more beneficial from the fact that when they come out of the bottle they're in a search mode. And just because we may want them to go over to this other corner of the greenhouse 500 feet away and they could potentially make it there. We wanna shorten that trip. We wanna make it much quicker for them to get there. So multiple release locations are much preferred over a single solitary, release spot. Again you wanna avoid direct sunlight, overhead watering. And one of the things, key things is if you're ventilation fans, if you have a higher crop it's always best to release the parasitic wasps in a lower location, let them so that they can fly up into the crop. Versus if they're up in near the canopy where you're getting a lot of wind or air movement, it'll be harder for them to navigate in those conditions and get to some of your hotspots. So a lower release location is much better than the in a higher release spot. Live larvae and predators. Some of the tools that we have with biological controls call for utilizing live larva. The guy in the left, there is a Chrysoperla carnea which is a lacewing, larva, and awesome predator for aphids and other soft bodied insects. So if those are shipped to you live, again, one of the most important things to consider is the fact that you have a live individual and the longer you keep them locked up the more opportunity you have for them to die. And so the Chrysoperla in particular are cannibalistic. And so, again, the longer you leave them in bottle the more opportunities there are for them to cannibalize each other. You can store these overnight. And refrigeration is always the best method to keep them cooler, slow their metabolism down. Again, so that they're not cannibalizing each other, and always bring that balance and room temperature prior to you applying those the next morning. Sometimes you can get this guy shipped to you alive. It's Orius, and it's a predator bug. One of his favorite prey is thrips. I love this guy. Again, in this situation when you open the bottle you will certainly see activity in there. They're more than likely to crawl out of the bottle and then take flights. But the key here is, again, if you do store them overnight is bringing them to room temperature, and then we're releasing in the morning or the evening to prevent them getting cooked in the heat of the day. And then one of the things I've always look for when you're releasing any kind of live larva and or predator is depending on the type of crop would determine how you would release them. So in a lower crop, say like something that's grown in flats, trays, or on beds, and it's a low crop. You can literally blow them out into the crop or sprinkle them onto the crop. But in the higher crops, the preferred method would be to use some type of release cardboard box that's hung on the planet and you can pour the product into the, in different levels in different release spots and release the insects that way. That way they can make their way quicker to the areas that you need to address. Lastly As far as biologicals are concerned the microbiologicals which encompass quite a range of materials and products and different functions. Some singularly or some can double in the activity that they perform. But in line with insecticides or fungicides or soil amendments, there's a myriad of formulations and suppliers for this type of product. And it's very... It's based on a particular manufacturer's formulation. So when you have that variance always rely on the storage recommendations from your manufacturer because they would all vary based on the type of organism it is, and the type of carrier that it's in. So lean on them for that information. Certainly there's an expiry date on the packaging. And then anytime that you can utilize refrigeration for storage generally speaking will lengthen the storage time of that product. So it's not like a chemical spray, if you will, where it can be just stored on the shelf. In some instances it can but refrigeration will lengthen the life of that product. So like I said, always lean on your suppliers for more detailed information on that, because it varies so greatly it would take me forever to cover all of them. And that rounds up the tips that I have for storage and deployment and inspecting your products on receipt. And I wanted to thank you for your time. - Awesome. Thank you, Chris. I have... Before we get into the Q and A I've got a little bit of housekeeping. First, this session is being recorded and will be available sometime in the near future. I will send out an email with a video link to all the registered participants when it becomes available. Second, your feedback is super important to us. It is what helped guides our effort to develop interesting and relevant programming, like the stuff that we've been covering today and the previous weeks. And it's for the benefit of the flora culture and greenhouse industry. So when you leave this seminar today you will be automatically directed to a two minute survey. You're probably gonna take a lot less than that. Actually, it doesn't take much time at all and the results are really quite meaningful to both of us. And so we sincerely appreciate if you would spend a few moments to share your thoughts with us. All right, Chris? I have several questions. Are you ready? - Yes. - Perfect. So here's one, and this is a manufacturing question. So if I use 50% of the nematode package can I assume that approximately 40 to 60% of the total nematodes are in my solution? (both laughing) - Yeah. Number one, I hate the word assume. Number two is no, there's no way to tell I suppose if you did averages over a course of time that you might discover what that sweet spot is. But like I said, when those are manufactured and put into that carrier there's no guarantee that it's homogenous and that using half of it is guaranteeing half of that product. So I would steer clear of that. Most manufacturers have like a small count package and then a large count package for larger operations. So there should be some options there that would fit your needs a little bit better. - So try to find a smaller package. - Yeah, for sure. - Okay. So this is another good question. So how long should we avoid overhead watering after a mite or wasp release? - So what's important there is where it's been released and or how it's been released. So, for example, the example that I was giving, utilizing either the bottle itself, or some people prefer to use those cardboard distribution boxes hung on the crop at various spots. If you're using a system like that, in the bottle they're protected, as long as you've got that bottle say, laying on its side, or secured somehow horizontally, so to speak so that the the top of the bottle is not facing directly up where water can go inside that bottle. In the distribution box. In that scenario, if you do get some water in that there's a good chance that will dry out rather quickly. Most parasitic wasps they do pupate in soil and they have sand grains around the pupa. And so that's not a common that there would be a soil, but the media is important. And if that media stays too wet too long you will make those pupa non-viable. So the best release methods, as I mentioned would be in that bottle scenario or distribution box. And so that those pupae are not laying on the soil directly. So I don't know if that internally answers that question but I think it was, how long should you wait? You could water overhead if you use those two methods right away, as long as that those two things are allowed to dry or are protected from water. - Well, yeah. And I imagine that's easier with parasitoids and less easy with like a bulk mite distribution, right. When you're using a mite blower. - Yes, and that's a very good example or that's a great point, Jeremy is, so for mites, we definitely wanna give them time to shelter. Generally speaking they'll shelter underneath the leaves, so you would... What that time period is exactly it could be immediately that, once they're distributed, they seek the shelter, literally immediately but I would always allow a minimum of four hours, prior to watering overhead when you're distributing predatory mites. - Okay. - For sure. - That makes sense - 'Cause you definitely can you can blow them off the plant easily. - Yeah, I was just imagining that in my head, just blasting them off with water. - Right. - Okay, this is a question that actually I had too, so with parasitoids and the pupae that are glued to the cards, the little cards, it definitely lends itself for like easier counting for understanding a merchants rates. So, and understanding of course, that nothing is 100%, right in biology, especially. What's a typical emergent rate on the card and what's acceptable to you or is there an industry acceptable standard there? - So each and every manufacturer may have their own success rates but in my personal experience, I wouldn't anticipate and or like to see anything above 80% emergence rates to know that you've got a good viable product. - 80 or above, it sounds reasonable. So is it easy to recognize if mites are healthy in the box? - Back to what I was talking about in terms of activity certainly. And trust me, even at this point, doing this to this point, sometimes when I sprinkle a bottle out it takes a little bit of time to define that active mite in there and but, individually, no. I mean, you'll see the mite walking around. And like I said, the speed with which it walks around is much faster than the feeder mites. And if a mite is stationary it does not necessarily mean that it's sick. Like I had mentioned before, sometimes the mites will shelter on the under side of a leaf in the crotch and the leaf veins. And will be stationary in that spot because it might be either laying eggs or it might be ready to ambush so it could be stationary. And other times it could be very active cruising around that leaf. So having a mite that's just staying stationary is not a standard indicator of not being healthy. You certainly though should out of a bottle of 50,000, when you sprinkle some of it out you certainly should see some activity. - Okay. That makes sense. Let me see if I can rephrase that. So it's difficult to tell what their health state is on any particular mite. And I would imagine that over time, the more you work with these little animals the better that you would probably get at a judging a good healthy state or a good batch would that be reasonable to say? - Yeah, for sure. Especially, okay, so you see some activity the very first day that you get them, either right out of the bottle or right after you sprinkle them on the crop say a couple hours later, you go look and you find some on the plant. But what's key is then a couple of days down the road if there is food and the environment is healthy you should be able to find them later on several days past the release date. Now with a specialist mite like Phytoseiulus persimilis which is a specialist mite that eats twospotted spider mite. High metabolism, they eat that one food. And if they run out of food very good chance that they'll die out. But if there is food, would prefer them not to have food we're gonna get rid of it. But if they do have food they can lay eggs and they can sustain. And you'll see them a week later in the crop. But if there's no food, they could die off within three to five days. But a general indicator is seeing them in the crop. Like I said, the absence presence method. How many am I seeing? And what kind of level of occurrence as each day goes on is a good indication of health either healthy environment for them and, or, that the insects themselves are healthy. - Yeah, that's a good question. Not a real easy answer. - No, you're right. It is based on careful observation in the... Unfortunately it leads to a lot of questions too, are there residuals in the crop from products that have been sprayed and depending on what product's been sprayed could cause them to dial out quicker than we would expect. - That's a murky question. - Yes. Yes. - Okay. I like this question too. So what happens if you do use tap water instead of room temperature, water from mixing nematodes? - Well, no permanent damage or no catastrophic damage. It's just that whole concept of, we want the environment to be a little bit warmer to activate the individuals to wake them up, so to speak. So, like I said, if at all possible utilize close to room temp water over your tap water. - Gotcha. I may not have interpreted the question properly. So this is going back to an acceptable emergence rate. Hold on. How many have yet hatched Aphidius are acceptable to you? Does that change your answer if you're talking about Aphidius specifically? - No, no, not at all. How many yet emerged? No, I would say that, no that wouldn't change my answers. - So anything above 80 is in you it's acceptable? - Yeah. - Okay. Is there a way to draw the parasitic wasp to the areas that the aphids are overpopulating? That's a good question. - Yeah. So they search by smell. And as I had mentioned earlier, that the closer you can put them to known hot spots, the quicker they can get to them, number one, but that's basically how they search. And so when, once they've parasitized one pocket they radiate out from that area. All insects are opportunists. They don't do anything or expend any more energy than they need to either find their prey or their parasite or their host rather. So, like I said once they've been affected one area they radiate out in a radius, so to speak. So your best strategy would be careful monitoring. So you yourself have an idea of what's in your crop so that you can place your release stations in those areas. And then the other strategy there is don't limit yourself just to those hotspots but cover your square footage properly to evenly have individuals in the system to parasitize your hosts. - Is that something that you could help them determine? Like what kind of release rate would be a good like even coverage of an area? - Oh yeah, absolutely. There's established rates depending on the severity of your infestation that we've tried and tested in the field as to what is capable of taking care of the problem that you have. - I can say from knowing a little bit about insect biology that those parasitoid wasps should be able to fly across almost any size range in under a day. - Yeah, it's crazy how... Yeah of their range and how small they are. - For how small they are they're still pretty strong flyers and they can focus in on some of those smells, so to speak. - Yeah, you have a point. - So you were talking about rotating the mites prior to application, so I'm trying to picture this in my head. So you're talking about rotating it while it's still on its side, right? - Correct, so just kind of like rolling it, or like a tumbler, so to speak, but gently, because we don't wanna shake them and destroy some in the meantime. - Oh, gently, gently got it. - Yup. Exactly. - Okay, so I have a realistic question so that people may have an idea what to expect. So this is just kind of a hypothetical scenario. So what if a grower got super busy and that can happen easily in March, April and May and didn't open up the package until about two and a half days later and then when he opens it up or he, or she, they open it up they discover a really rotten smell. The grower calls you up and recognizing of course that this may be an uncomfortable conversation. How can you help that grower at that point? - So obviously, if it smells that bad, there's a lot going on there. That's not necessarily to say that it's a complete loss. And so some of that product could be used to effect. But at that point my recommendation was, Hey, let's since we kind of missed a step here, let's double up or let's add the following week to try to compensate for what we miss-stepped too. And that way we can get back on track with how many individuals we need in the system to tackle the problems that we're facing. So then that would be my immediate recommendation. And then something else that, I don't think reps that sell biologicals are totally against using sprays to remediate issues. And depending on the situation, if there's a crisis and something needs to done, you can work with your rep on making recommend suggestions of what they've seen in the field that will work for the growers. - Yeah. And I would agree too. Taking care of hotspots is a necessity. And so if it's just getting... If the bio's, aren't keeping up with the pests, then something else that needs to happen. - Yes. - And speaking of which that's very timely. So how long after spraying insecticides, is it safe to release bios? - So- - Of course. (Jeremy laughing) - It's still a good question, but there are some variables there for sure. It all depends on the product that you're using. And I would base my recommendation, based on what the active ingredient in the product is. So and, what we look at is what is the product and what kind of residual it may have, or what kind of mode of action does it have in order to determine whether or not it would be lethal or somewhat lethal or minimally lethal to the organism that you're putting out. So that recommendation would vary again based on both sides of that equation. What the product you're spraying. And then what organism you're putting out as a bio. - And this would be a time... This is a timely segue into next week session too where we're talking about integrating bio pesticides into some of these bio programs. And if I remember correctly, Koppert and several other bio suppliers have a rough chart, right? But general rating of toxicity towards certain biologicals and a reasonable amount of time to wait before deploying some after a spray. Is that correct? - Hmm hmm. - Okay. - Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there are suppliers that have databases that are handily, accessed. - Okay. It's still not... I'm wondering here... We have one grower or one attendee that I'm not sure if we're addressing the question properly and I'm opening up his mic. So if you would like to ask a question to Chris directly, by all means, please. - [Mike] I'm Mike Western was only what weight of Aphidius in a package yet hatched would you accept in your crop? Because to me, this is something like a special quantity issue. - Okay, I think I understand now what you're referring to. So when you receive the product and you see some hatched individuals in the packaging, how many- okay. So again, there's a few variables there. It all depends on how long has the product been in transit And at what temperatures it's been at that might caused them to hatch prematurely. Secondly, as humans, I think we think we can assimilate nature to a certain point. And so we can't determine exactly what stage that pupa is. We have a general idea how old that pupa is so that it remains intact till it gets to you. But I would go back to that same if I saw less than 80% unhatched, when I received then I would question, okay, what happened? I would contact my rep and say, this is the situation all packages I got there were 50% or more hatched out of these. And I'm sure that, a reasonable solution would be figured out in that situation. Because yeah, certainly we don't want you receiving product that's spent so to speak. By the time you get it to me, that many individuals hatched out of those would indicate some type of issue, a delay, a temperature issue, something along those lines. That makes sense? - [Mike] Yeah - Perfect. Yep. Sorry, we didn't totally understand that. Got it now. Okay, I don't see any more questions. There was one request from one of our attendees. So they're asking you to talk about your mite blower. It releases bugs great. What are they talking about specifically? Do you know? (both laughing) - So, not to have a commercial here but this kind of goes back to the post handling that I was referring to when it came to predatory mites was Koppert Biological Systems has a patented delivery system. There's several different size units, but the basic design is that it has a rotating drum that the the predatory mites get poured into. And that rotating does exactly what I was talking about. It attempts to keep those mites evenly distributed in the carrier because the natural reaction to those mites when they are in that carrier is to come up for air, so to speak. So they're gonna, if you'd stood that bottle vertically all the mites would come up to the top. If you turn it over the other way, the mites would reverse and go up to that airspace on the opposite top. So if you've got them packed into a blower, that's not rotating their natural reaction is to do walking up to the top. Therefore, any product you're feeding up the bottom could have less mites in it than those up at the top. And you'd have a higher concentration in the carrier at the top. So we call it The Mini-Airbug and The Airbug, the drums rotate just distributing those mites throughout the carrier so that when it goes into the stream of the blower that helps ensure a more even distribution into the crop.

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