Editor’s Letter: Plant health and chemistry By Heather Machovina

This month’s issue is all about plant health. It’s important to start clean with strong greenhouse sanitation practices before placing plants in the growing area, but maintaining plant health by scouting and preventing diseases with a solid IPM program and understanding the chemistry of your plants will give you the knowledge to grow a better final product and keep your business in the green. 

Integrated plant health management (IPHM) incorporates the integrated pest management (IPM) process of using tools and strategies to manage pests, but it further includes nutrition and promoting plant tolerances to abiotic and biotic stresses. Biological program managers in applied technology, disease control and insect control give us tips on how to keep your plants performing their best. 

Insecticide resistance is not a challenge any grower I know wants to face, but are you aware of the different ways insects can develop resistance to the chemicals we rely on? Fly over here for the latest Dr. Bugs column that outlines four ways insects can become resistant. 

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has been working to understand the language of plants through chemistry. Measuring specific compounds and seeing how they change and respond to pests, diseases and environmental conditions can help provide growers with earlier disease and stress detection, improved growth conditions, and customized nutrition and treatment plans, to name a few. Read more about how this chemistry can benefit your greenhouse. 

Healthy plants equals a healthy business so I hope this issue has given you some helpful information to take back to the greenhouse with you. Is there something related to plant health or pests and diseases that you want us to cover? Please send me an email!