Buying Biology: Beneficial Organisms for Disease and Pest Control

Keeping our plants healthy means engaging living biological agents that might not occur naturally on our landscapes. We need to cultivate and sometimes, buy this biology. How do we know the best sources of these living inputs? What parameters are ideal in order to insure this beneficial biology thrives and has the impact we desire? What other ramifications will the release of these imported life forms have on the surrounding ecology of our farm, gardens and landscapes? Award winning entomologist, Dr. Richard McDonald, together with Patryk Battle will focus on how to incorporate beneficial biological introductions and match them with preventative measures as our first line of defense against insect and disease pressure. Farmscaping, multi-species cover crops (ideally inoculated with rhizobia and mycorrhizae), minimal soil disturbance, and proper mineral availability are some of the many ways growers create conditions that bring insects into balance and support healthy plants.