Griffin’s COVID-19 Response

CEA Greenhouse Tips

BioSafe Tech Tip

 

 

As new CEA producers sprout up around the country, there have been almost as many advertising claims made about ‘pesticide-free’ facilities. While that’s comforting to think and read about, it’s important to keep in mind that nature abhors a vacuum. Especially when it comes to 6- and 8-legged pests. While modifications can be made in CEA environments to accommodate vegetables, herbs, cannabis, or flowers, the humidity, temperature, absence of natural biological controls and abundant food can attract, sustain, and explode pest populations. Even as CEA growers work diligently to prevent pests from penetrating their
carefully crafted biosecurity protocols, chances are good that at some point arthropod visitors will show up uninvited. It would be a rare facility indeed that didn’t have to manage at least one concerning pest.


Bringing in plants or cuttings is a common way that pests are introduced. For that reason, inspecting and quarantining new material is well worth the time investment. Regular and systematic scouting of your plants will ensure that you catch infestations in the earliest stages allowing you to find and manage pests before you have to bring in the big, synthetic chemistry guns.
 

Biological control agents (BCAs) are often the first line of attack. However, sometimes the cost, time, or feasibility to implement biocontrol necessitates additional control measures. Biorationals work in tandem with most BCAs and break down completely within a matter of days to ensure there are no pesticide residues on the finished product. That’s something you and your customers can feel good about.


Products such as BioSafe Systems’ BioCeres WP (the entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana), AzaGuard (full-spectrum azadirachtin), and BT NOW (lepidopteran specific Bacillus thuringiensis) have only a 4-hour re-entry interval and can be applied up to the day of harvest. In fact, successful biocontrol programs often incorporate both biorational products plus the use of compatible biocontrol agents, whether via cutting dip, fogging, spraying or drenching. Combining multiple tools to ensure all stages of the pest are managed can minimize the extent and time to mitigate an inevitable infestation.


Well Balanced Fertilizer Program for Hemp and Cannabis

 


Cannabis and hemp are moderately heavy feeders, especially enjoying a relatively high calcium supply. A rigorous and well-balanced fertilizer program can be achieved with any number of fertilizer inputs, but the most successful are tailored to an individual operation’s needs. Choice of fertilizer formulation should be made based on water quality, irrigation equipment and growing media, and type of production system.


First, evaluate water quality. Growers should understand the pH, EC, alkalinity, and general mineral salt content of their water source. Municipal water supplies may change in composition from season to season – these water supplies should be tested at least once or twice a year. Well-water may also change seasonally and should be tested initially to gain an understanding of the water quality, then monitored yearly for changes to ground water conditions. When using reverse osmosis (RO) water, regular service and monitoring should be performed to make sure the filtration system is functioning as expected. Water sample test kits can be ordered and sent to a variety of labs for very reasonable prices.


Second, take stock of your irrigation equipment and available labor. Are you hand watering or using a drip system? How much water are you using on a daily basis? Some fertilizer stock solutions can be stored on site for weeks without issue, while others must be consumed quickly, in a day or two. Next, what type of media are you growing in? Truly hydroponic systems require control of the EC and pH of fertilizer water using consistently performing products. The pH of peat-based or soil-based media is most affected by the alkalinity of the water. Low to moderate alkalinity often can be managed with the proper fertilizer choice.
Hemp and cannabis growers treat excess water alkalinity through the application of acid along with the fertilizer. Sulfuric acid is the number one choice for this crop. High-alkalinity water presents a special challenge to organic growers. The only OMRI approved acid is citric acid; high alkalinity requires large amounts of citric acid to neutralize the excess. Organic growers may consider purification systems when faced with poor water quality.


Fertilizer targets can be met through the use water-soluble fertilizers or liquid nutrients. Slow or controlled release fertilizer are additional options when growing in peat-based or soil-based systems. GGSPro can help you sort through options to identify the best program for you.

 Click here for Soil and Water Testing Addresses

 

DescriptionSizeItem Number
Jack's 5-12-26
25 lb
33-51226
Jack's 10-30-20
25 lb
33-103020
Jack's 15-0-0
25 lb
33-79080
Plantex MJ 12-8-26
25 lb
31-M12279
Plantex MJ 4-31-37
25 lb
31-M12280
Plantex MJ Spike (CaMg)
25 lb
31-M12310
Neptune's Harvest Hydrolyzed Fish
1 gallon
80120001
Nature's Source 3-1-1
4.7 gallon
67-0065
Biomin Calcium
1 gallon
16-03011
Sustane 8-4-4 All Natural
50 lb
67-30569
Sustane 4-6-4 All Purpose Slow Release
50 lb
67-30201
Sustane 16-4-8
50 lb
67-50551

Printable version

New Rearing Method Allows For Better Production Predatory Mite

BioPersi+ addition to the Biobee arsenal

Going against all odds, the scientific literature, and decades of practical recorded experience, a BioBee R&D team headed by R&D Entomologists Arnon Tabic and Tom Katz, developed a new technology for the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis.

Traditional P. persimilis products are based on behavioral manipulation: the predatory mite is starved (at least partially) prior to harvest. As a result, it takes longer for the predatory mites to establish and start reproducing. The new product BioPersi+ arrives satisfied and physiologically stronger, thus able to seek and control hot spots faster and start laying eggs on the same day of application. BioPersi+ is produced using a new alternative food system which gives the persimilis key advantages. Additionally, although slow-release products of generalist predatory mites, such as sachets, have been available for some time, no such product was possible with P. persimilis. BioBee’s new technology makes the slow-release option of P. persimilis feasible. The BioPersi+ slow-release products are expected to be launched later in the 2021 year.

Another important difference is the age structure of the population. Whereas the traditional BioPersimilis product contains mainly adults, BioPersi+ product contains all the developmental stages of the mite (adults, juveniles, and eggs). This diversity creates a continuity of active mites in the greenhouses; assuring longer, uninterrupted spider mite control.

BioPersi+ Advantages

  • White to red color change confirms active predation.
  • Higher egg laying ability then traditional persimilis: females lay over 19 eggs within 5 days, under positive conditions.
  • Better searching ability and control of hot spots.
  • Diversity of life stages for longer prevention.
  • Slow Release methods (Available later in the 2021 Year
Above: In a trial observing how many persimilis individuals made it to their targets, the new Persi+ outperformed the conventional persimilis product.


Printable version

What is Fogging?

Fogging, also known as ultra-low volume treatment, utilizes very fine particle sizes to greatly reduce spray volume when applying chemicals. These small particle sizes enable products to be applied uniformly and to reach areas in the crop canopy and the undersides of leaves that may otherwise be missed by hydraulic sprayers. Fogging reaches all surfaces within the greenhouse space including under benches to nooks and crannies in the floors and structures.

What might growers want to fog?

Sanitizers – Fogging sanitizers can cut down on labor associated with spraying for hard surface sanitation. Dramm Autofog and Mini AutoFog can be left unattended outside of normal work hours and allowed to fog a sanitizer throughout a workspace. Sanitizers such as ZeroTol 2.0 can be run through these foggers when using stainless steel spray nozzles.

Biological and other water-based pesticides – Using a Dramm Coldfogger, Dramm Turbo ULV, or the Dramm BioPulsFOG, products containing live active ingredients can be applied evenly and thoroughly throughout the production space. These types of products are often used to treat insects such as aphids, or foliar fungal diseases such as Botrytis, powdery mildew, or leaf spots. Additionally, Coldfoggers and thermal foggers greatly decrease the time required to spray when compared to hydraulic sprayers and AutoFog equipment.

What should growers avoid fogging?

Oils – Many oils are technically compatible with fogging, but the trouble lies in their mode of action. Oils work through suffocation, filling all the air openings of insects or mites. Fogging produces very small-sized particles, one of the strengths of fogging, which ensures a highly uniform but thin layer of pesticide without using large amounts of water. While ideal for most pesticides, this action works against the coating and suffocating action of horticultural oils. Fogging oils also covers equipment with a fine layer of oil that may be detrimental to things such as lights or other mechanical fixtures.

Sulfur – Fogging, burning, or atomizing sulfur may be an effective insecticide and fungicide, but this practice carries with it several dangers and detriments, as well as not being an EPA approved practice. Sulfur vapors represent significant human health hazards, and over time sulfur vapors erode the integrity of poly materials. Plastics become brittle and useable lifetime is significantly reduced.


To learn more about the types of fogging equipment available, reach out to your Griffin rep or the GGSPro team to find out how you can add fogging into your production process. 

Click here for our fogger FAQs sheet for more information on fogging.



DescriptionItem Number
Dramm Mini AutoFog with Stainless Steel Nozzle
41-1205
Dramm SLVH AutoFog 120V
41-6003251
Dramm LVH AutoFog 220V
41-6003201
Dramm Stainless Steel Nozzle for LVH
41-1263
Dramm Coldfogger AR 20-gal tank, 150’ hose
41-1488
Dramm Turbo ULV Fogger
62-6003261
Dramm Puls-Fog K-30 Standard Blue Frame
41-1121
Dramm Puls-Fog K-30/20 Bio Dual Tank
41-1122
Dramm Cart for K-30/20
41-1125
Dramm K-22 PulsFog GH Yellow Frame
41-1331
Dramm K-22-Bio PulsFog Yellow Frame
41-1332
Dramm Nutri-Fog carrier
74-2675

Printable version

Even Watering in CEA Crops with Drip Irrigation

Written by: Kurt Becker - EVP – Commercial Products, Dramm Corporation

There are a variety of media types used in cannabis and hemp production. When combined with different container sizes, achieving even moisture levels throughout the pot can be challenging. It is important to pair the right type of irrigation system with the media to ensure that the plants are watered evenly.

Media Types

Rockwool and coir have less water holding capacity than peat-based mixes and organic mixes. As holding capacity decreases, watering frequency will need to increase. Additionally, irrigation duration should decrease. Irrigation volume is also a factor. Drippers with higher outputs can cause channeling in more porous medias, leading to uneven moisture in the container and uneven root growth over time.


Wetting Agents

With media ranging widely in composition, the moisture-holding characteristics and ability of the media to wick water laterally can have a huge impact on evenness of the moisture level throughout the container. Wetting agents are employed to reduce surface tension of water and allow very dry media to rehydrate. These products can be added to media either prior to planting or with irrigation water.

Pictured: Very dry media or uneven irrigation can lead to channeling - dry pockets that water skips past

Container Size

Container size will also have an impact on moisture homogenization. Smaller containers are easy to fill, even with a more porous media. Larger containers need more water and multiple points of distribution. Multiple staked drippers can often be enough. For a combination of media that will not wick well and a large container, using multiple pressure compensated rings often works well. Multiple drippers also help keep a valuable plant alive when one dripper clogs. 

Dripper Output

Dramm offers emitters with a range of outputs from 0.5 gph (2 lph) to 3.0 gph (12 lph). This allows for a variety of options. As noted above, multiple drippers can help water a plant more evenly. However, be careful not to overdo the flow rate. High flow drippers often channel more. A combination of lower flow drippers in one pot can provide better watering and the speed needed to cycle through the facility.


Dripper Type

There are different manufacturers of standard PC drippers. One challenge these emitters can have is clogging. Every system needs to be protected by proper filtration. However, with many of the fertigation methods used by CEA growers, sometimes particulate still gets through. Dramm PCAS emitters are larger than other emitters. This allows the labyrinth that regulates pressure internally to be wider. A wider labyrinth can pass more particulate than a narrower one. 

Complete Systems & Expertise

Working with experts can help ensure success in your growing facility. The Dramm and Griffin teams work together, asking questions to understand your growing style and system, to help offer the right solution for your irrigation system.

Dramm Irrigation Products From Griffin


Product NameItem Number
Dramm 36" Assembled PC dripper w stake 2 lph
44-5557
Dramm 36" Assembled PC dripper with Microvalve w stake 2 lph
44-5558
Dramm 18" Assembled PC dripper w stake 2 lph
44-5553
Dramm 16 mm PE tubing, 1000' Sunblock
44-5605
Dramm 10" PC Ring & 36" Leader Tube with Microvalve
44-5565
Dramm 4” PC Ring & 12” Leader Tube with Microvalve
44-5577
Dramm 4” PC ring & 24” Leader Tube with Microvalve
44-5579
Dramm 13” PC Ring & 36” Leader Tube with Microvalve
44-5573

Printable version

Hemp Field Readiness

By: Allison Justice, PhD
The Hemp Mine

Christmas season has passed, and planting season is right around the corner.  Now is the time to begin planning for the 2021 hemp growing season.  

There are many things to consider for field preparation, so let us prioritize:

Soil & water testing

This step is easy to let fall by the wayside but remember it is one of the most important things you can do for your crop.  Testing of soil and water sources should be done, at a minimum, annually.  State universities as well as many private testing labs will do these tests at a very affordable rate.  Most testing facilities will also aid on how to test and how to interpret results.  One soil test is not enough, there will be many areas of your field that need addressed differently.  Ask your lab for assistance.  

Pre-plant fertilizer

Once you receive results, you can then make an educated decision on field pre-planting amendments, such as lime or nitrogen.  After your field is treated and your soil rotated, you then can retest to understand the amount of liquid fertilizer you will need to apply throughout the season.

Irrigation planning & supplies

To get the most out of your crop and to avoid drought stress, irrigation implementation is key.  Some fields are trickier than others to lay out properly so contacting an experienced irrigation specialist can be helpful for design.  A common way for irrigation delivery is drip tape which is laid mechanically under plastic or biodegradable mulch.  Pressure, pump size, and injector capability should be determined for proper water distribution.

Mulching

Many hemp farmers choose to mulch their fields.  Mulching helps to increase water retention, reduce weed pressure, and alter temperature.  Additionally, when mulching is laid, the planting equipment normally can lay irrigation under the plastic as well as mound soil into beds.  Mounding is important in areas which have frequent rain because it contributes to proper drainage.  Mulch color can manipulate temperature and there are also great options for biodegradable mulch.  Biodegradable mulch can help reduce labor and the loss of topsoil at the end of the season. 

Genetics

The right genetic choice is 75% of the battle for a successful season.  Work with breeding companies that have a proven record and can provide you with more than just a certificate of analysis (COA).  Think about where these plants were bred and for what reason they may have been selected.  Ask the breeder for references and data from the previous year’s trials.    

Products to help you get started

Product Name
Item Number
LUMITE GCB 3' 300' Ground Cover Blue
78-2420
Blk/Wht 1.25 Mil 4' X 4000' Embossed
78-1032
Blk 1.25 Mil 3' X 2000' Embossed Mulch
78-1025
Netafim Figure 8 Line End
5011001
2Gph WPC Jr. P/C Woodpecker Dripper
5010013
Netafim 1000' .520-.620 Tubing Black
5010030
Netafim 2" FLEXNET PIPE 60" SPACING 328'
5010042
Netafim 1/2"MPT Elbow X.636TWD FLEXNET
5011006
Space-It 8Mil .4Gph 9000' Tape 12" Space
50183129
Streamline X 8Mil .2Gph 9000' 18" Space
5018618
Printable version

Greenhouse Lighting: Are Your Tired Grow Lights Letting Your Crop Down?

Researchers and growers alike recognize a lighting truth: A 1% increase in light levels returns a 1% increase in yield. Of course, this only applies when the light level is below the crop’s photosynthetic saturation point. The point at which light limits yield will vary with several factors, including the crop species, crop fertility, and temperature. 

Horticulturalists around the world make cost-effective decisions about lighting every day. In some places for some crops, crop quality during low-light times of the year is maintained by growing cooler and slowing the crop cycle. In other areas, supplemental lighting is added to keep consistent production and quality week after week. For indoor and warehouse cultivation, a stable environment is maintained year-round by sole-source lighting.

Greenhouse lighting plan

Sole-source lighting can be planned to provide consistent, uniform delivery of photons over the crop to provide a consistent harvest. This kind of lighting setup can be achieved with high-pressure sodium (HPRS), metal-halide (MH), or LED lighting technologies.

What happens when HPS and MH bulbs age? 

HPS and MH bulbs generally have a 10,000-hour life. You should expect their output to drop by 10% over this time. That means that a lighting plan initially providing adequate light to meet your yield goals will give you 10% less yield when bulbs hit their recommended end of life. Think about that. What does 10% less yield mean to your bottom line?

While we are thinking about this, what do 10,000 hours mean for a typical indoor production facility?

    • 12 hours/day: 2.25 years

    • 16 hours/day: 1.75 years

    • 18 hours/day: 1.5 years 

The easiest fix for diminishing photon output is to set a maintenance plan to replace your HPS and MH bulbs on a cycle that aligns with your use and sensitivity to decreasing yields. As we come to the end of the year, many operations can achieve tax benefits on Capex equipment purchases delivered prior to January 1, making this is a perfect time to replace your bulbs. 

Let us help you maintain your yields, so you continue to meet your production goals. Ask your Griffin salesperson about options for single end and dead-end HPS and MH replacement bulbs from leading manufacturers, including ParSource, Ushio, Hortilux, and Philips.


Griffin also offers a wide assortment of LED lighting technology. We can help you through the transition from HPS/MH to LED, both on the equipment and culture sides of the equation. 



Printable version

Why Are In Vivo Nematodes Beneficial?


Nematodes, specifically
Steinernema feltiae, have an intense action against fungus gnat larvae and thrips pupae found in crop media. A popular choice among greenhouse growers of all kinds, this microscopic biological control agent (BCA) has wormed its way into many effective integrated pest management (IPM) programs. Currently, a global SF nematode shortage is affecting many suppliers, leading growers to explore other product options to fill this void.

Nematodes Alternative: Sanitation

Sanitizing surfaces surrounding the growing area can go a long way to controlling fungus gnat and thrips issues. Proper sanitation practices help prevent the spread of algae, which serves as a potential food source and breeding space for several pests such as fungus gnats and shore flies. Products such as ZeroTol 2.0, SaniDate 5.0, and PERPose Plus are often approved for hard surface sanitation and may be used at lower concentrations to reduce the occurrence of algae on soil surfaces or in irrigation piping and tubing.  

Nematodes Alternative BCAs

Though no other BCA is quite as effective as nematodes against fungus gnat larvae and thrips pupae, some preventative pressure can be maintained through strategic applications of different species. Atheta coriaria and Hypoaspis miles, two primarily soil-dwelling BCAs, prey on larvae and pupae at the soil level. These two insects may survive for long periods in the crop media when maintaining even moisture and avoiding incompatible pesticide drenches. Though unable to handle severe infestations on their own, these BCAs may be incorporated into a preventative regimen to keep thrips and fungus gnat pressures low. 

In Vivo Nematodes

Several suppliers offer In Vivo Nematode products. With classic nematode products, nematodes are grown using a fermentation process that occurs in a nutrient solution. In Vivo nematode products are produced following the natural life cycle in live hosts. While both production methods produce effective nematodes, the In Vivo nematodes generally release a more potent dose of the pest-killing bacteria upon infection. It is not uncommon for growers to see slightly faster and higher efficacy with In Vivo nematodes. 

Though global shortages are not currently impacting In Vivo nematode products, this type of production is more labor and time intensive. In Vivo, the application rate for products is lower and would be an appropriate knock-down treatment before beginning a preventative regimen combining adequate sanitation and alternative BCAs. Please reach out to your Griffin sales rep or the GGSPro technical team for crop-appropriate rates and usage tips. 

Products


Product Name
Item Number
Zerotol 2.0 5Gal

71-35481
Sanidate 5.0 5Gal

71-35151
PERpose Plus 5Gal

71-2690
DALOTIAforce 1k beetles

30DC1N
Staphyline 500 beetles

SB0061-01
STRATIOforce 25k mites

30SS25
Hypoline 25K mites

SB0091-04
Sentry 25M nematodes

70-7025
In Vivo NemaShield, 24M nematodes

NEW
Printable version

Root Aphid Misconceptions


Many growers turn to biological control agents (BCAs) to effectively control foliar aphids; why should root aphids be any different? The difference lies in location, location, location! Root aphids tend to infest the entire container profile. Wherever plant roots are found, root aphids will follow. Root aphids hide out in any available crevice, providing a seemingly endless source of re-infestation. These deep colonies are the sticking point for most BCAs. Nevertheless, many growers have heard rumors of success with various BCAs. This tech tip will examine a few such BCA/root aphid relationships.

Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Hypoaspis) mites 

Hypoaspis miles, also known as Stratiolaelaps scimitus, is a soil-dwelling predatory mite with the ability to survive for long periods of time in the crop media. Their primary prey consists of fungus gnats, shore flies, and thrips pupae. This BCA reproduces in high numbers, quickly establishing populations. Hypoaspis mites have been observed feeding on root aphids, but their limiting factor is physical access. Hypoaspis mites are only active in the top and bottom inch of container media. Deeper aphid colonies will remain untouched, providing new waves of pests as these colonies continue to feed on plant roots and reproduce. 

Nematodes 

Nematodes for use as biological controls have been established as an easy and effective tool for growers to use. From fungus gnats and shore flies to thrips pupae, their efficacy is well understood. Nematodes have the advantage of being able to be drenched into media, though typical nematode applications only target the top two inches of soil. Nematologists confirm that certain species of beneficial nematodes, specifically Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, have the capability to harass and infect root aphids, but their capacity to kill is far outpaced by the root aphids’ speed of reproduction. 

Dalotia/Atheta/Rove beetle 

Rove beetles are media-dwelling insects that help growers manage shore flies, fungus gnats, thrips pupae, springtails, and other soil-dwelling pests. They are aggressive feeders, spending most of their time at media-level but adults may fly around at night in search of prey. Being a generalist predator, they may indeed prey upon root aphids that they encounter, but their contact is limited. Dalotia beetles dwell primarily in the top ½ inch of soil or media, again leaving deeper hidden colonies of aphids untouched. 

So, what DOES work?

Our current recommendations fall back on full-pot-volume drenches of biopesticides and insect growth regulators. Specifically, the combination of B. bassiana fungal spores with an azadirachtin product has shown some level of control in production environments. Drenches target root aphids while sprays control foliar aphids and fliers. A tank mix and weekly spray/drench of these products can go a long way toward achieving or maintaining control of both root and foliar aphid species. For more information contact your local Griffin rep or the GGSPro team.


Product NameItem Number
BotaniGard WP
70-12521
BotaniGard ES
70-12511
BioCeres
70-1245
Velifer
70-9540
AzaGuard
70-1225
Azatin O
70-12301
Molt-X
70-2410
Aza-Direct
70-1222
Printable version

pH Correction for Irrigation Water

 Why? When? How?

Most growers know that correcting pH is important, but they don't always know why. When we correct the pH in irrigation water, we are actually adjusting the irrigation water alkalinity, but why are we doing that?

Figure 1

To understand, we need to define pH. In simple terms, the pH of a solution relates to the concentration of hydrogen cations (H+). The pH scale goes from 1 to 14, where the lower the pH 
(high H+ concentration), the more acidic; the higher the pH (low concentration of H+), the more basic.  

Why is irrigation water pH important in CEA? The nutrient availability for plants is affected by pH (Fig 1). Whereas Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), and Copper (Cu) are more available at low pH values, Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) are more available at higher pH values. At very low pH, however, the increase in Fe, Mn, and Al (Aluminum) can become toxic. Therefore, between 5.5 and 6.2, most micronutrients are available at proper levels.

Why do we correct irrigation water alkalinity? The concept “alkalinity,” is a measure of the resistance of a water solution to change its pH. When acid is added to the irrigation water, the H+ of the acid first react with the carbonates and bicarbonates on the water forming CO2 and water. Initially, pH decreases slowly. When no more alkalinity is left, the pH will drop abruptly. 

We measure alkalinity in ppm.  Even though it’s closely related to pH, two different water samples could have similar pH values but different levels of alkalinity. It’s going to take much more acid to lower the water sample's pH with more alkalinity than the one with less. 

Carbonates and bicarbonates brought by the irrigation water will react with H+ in the growing media and increase its pH, lowering the micronutrient availability.  Plants will suffer micronutrient deficiencies. But completely removing the alkalinity is not necessarily good. Most fertilizers are acidifying in nature; if our irrigation water does not have any alkalinity, the acidifying fertilizer can lower the growing media pH to toxic levels. This case can be observed with RO water, where all alkalinity was removed, and potassium bicarbonate is needed to increase the alkalinity to a desirable value of 60-70 ppm.

We correct pH (mostly lower it) to correct alkalinity and optimize micronutrient availability. In some cases, we start with water that has no alkalinity. Then we need to adjust the pH up due to the natural acidifying quality of most fertilizer formulas.

Figure 2

Our injectors correct pH by proportionally injecting acidsor bases for your fertilizer formula blend (Figure 2). How much? And how? Let the GGSPro andDilution Solutions team help; give us a call!


Jose Rodriguez
Agronomist – PhD Engineering Sciences
Business Development Manager
Dosatron / Dilution Solutions
jose.rodriguez@dosatronusa.com
863-258-6888

Product NameItem Number
Dosatron 14 GPM Injector with Bypass
33-2417
Dosatron Etatron eOne Kit Low MicroDoser Kit
218-1820
Dosatron Etatron eOne Kit HI MicroDoser Kit
218-1821
Dosatron Etatron Ultrasonic Lo MicroDoser Cabinet
218-1822
Dosatron Etatron Ultrasonic Hi MicroDoser Cabinet
218-1829
Dosatron D132 Mega-Flo Injector
33-2428
Dosatron D400 Mega-Flo Injector
33-2429
Sulfuric Acid 93% Tech Grade 1GAL
75-5030
Sulfuric Acid 93% Tech Grade 15GAL
75-5034
Phosphoric Acid 75% Tech Grade 4-1GAL/CS
57-100239
JACKS CITRIC ACID 25 LB
J74321
JACKS POTASSIUM BICARBONATE 1 LB
91-2190
JACKS POTASSIUM BICARBONATE 25 LB
91-2191
General Hydroponics pH Up 1 gal
HGC722095
General Hydroponics pH Down 1 gal
HGC722125
Dosatron Meter pH/Temp Hydro
33-2710
Dosatron Meter pH/Temp Pro
33-2715
Dosatron Replacement Sensor pH
33-2725
Dosatron Storage Solution pH Electrode 600
33-2740
Printable version

Controlling Pest Caterpillar in The Field

Trichogramma wasp parasitizing lepidoptera egg.
Lepidoptera species are one of the top pests of hemp and cannabis production and may appear anytime from early spring well into fall.

Types of Lepidoptera

Species such as Eurasian Hemp Borer, European Corn Borer, Corn Earworm, and many others cause significant damage when left unchecked.

Types of Damage

Damage from these pests commonly takes two forms: stem boring or leaf chewing. Stem boring refers to when the insect eats its way into the plant, while leaf chewing refers to defoliation.




Understanding and controlling the lifecycles of these pests is key to season-long damage protection. Lepidoptera typically go through four main stages: egg, larval, pupal, and adult stage. The larval stage is represented by caterpillars. The pupal is the cocoon stage when they are often dormant. The adult stages appear as moths, flies, or butterflies. Different control strategies target different life stages, so timing control activities is very important.

Cultural management can help growers handle the larval and adult life-stages and generally follows these two focuses.  

·       Environmental Cleanup - Through the vigilant season-long reduction of weeds and plant debris, growers remove the preferred habitat, potential food sources, or breeding areas. This is effective at combating all four stages

·       Traps - The use of UV light traps and pheromone lures helps manage the population of adult moths when properly positioned and employed.

Spray treatments can be added to cultural control strategies and are highly effective for the larval stage, however they may not be approved for all locations or all crops.

Biological Control Agent (BCA) Options

Various species of Trichogramma wasps target the egg stage of many Lepidoptera. These biological control agents (BCAs) can be released either in a loose bulk carrier throughout the crop or as eggs on cards that can be hung on plants. As the Trichogramma eggs hatch, the wasps emerge and hunt down Lepidoptera eggs to parasitize. Once eggs have been attacked by wasps, the pest life cycle halts. Weekly applications should begin in early June to catch the first generation of eggs and continue throughout production through August. 

Different species of Trichogramma prey on different Lepidoptera species. Contact your GGSPro BCA specialist for help determining which species is most appropriate for your operation.



Griffin Lepidoptera Control Products

Product NameSupplierSpeciesSizeItem Number
Tricholine
Bioline
T. Brassicae
20K or 10K pupae
SB0451-04, SB0451-01
TRICHOforce B
Beneficial Insectary
T. Brassicae
10K pupae
30TBH
Trichogramma
Beneficial Insectary
Mixed
100k pupae
30TBH

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Surface Sanitation with SaniDate 5.0

-BioSafe Technical Team

Facility infestations can quickly go from bad to worse in the absence of proper sanitation practices. Cross contamination from host sites can affect crop health and reduce yields.
A thorough sanitation program significantly impedes the spread of bacteria and disease by removing favorable conditions for their development and addressing critical control points.

 

Critical control points are potential areas of infection (and re-infection) within growing and
non-crop areas such as under benches, entryways and cooling pads. Identifying these points is be integral for developing your facility’s program. Keep in mind sanitation is not just an ‘end of the season’ activity, it should be practiced throughout the production cycle. Standardizing practices such as spraying/foaming racks, empty benches, walkways and sanitizing containers, trays and equipment will maintain a clean environment.

 

Hard surfaces with algae and organic matter create a favorable environment pathogens and pests thrive in, including fungus gnats and shore flies. These pests can transmit contamination and infection throughout the crop. A general cleaning step is ideal to remove organic and mineral deposits, allowing sanitizer to have better contact on the targeted area and improving efficacy. Once areas have been cleaned, utilizing a sanitizer with no-rinse step, like SaniDate® 5.0, will ensure optimal productivity.

 

SaniDate 5.0 kills pathogens on contact, does not require a post-rinse and leaves no harmful residue. Its versatility of applications and use sites make it the ideal sanitation/disinfection tool to address many, if not all, critical control points in your facility.

 

Sanitation may be a chore, but it is important for preventing many unforeseen incidents which can deprive crops of optimal health. Choose the best methods and tools that work for your facility, but always remember – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


SaniDate 5.0 Product Offerings

Griffin Product #             Description
71-35001 2.5 Gal 28.3%, OMRI
71-35001-CA 2.5 Gal 28.3%. OMRI, CA Label
71-35101 5 Gal 28.3%, OMRI
71-35151 30 Gal 28.3%, OMRI
71-35151-CA 30 Gal 28.3%, OMRI, CA Label

Preventing Damping Off in Microgreens Production

71-3040 Triathlon BA 98.85% 1GAL
OMRI OHP EPA# 70051-107-59807
The production of microgreens is increasing in popularity across the country.  It can be done on a small scale or large scale, lending itself to the Grown Local Production Theme.

Growers typically sow in a high density into a 1-inch propagation tray with media, either loose fill or a mat. Once sub-irrigated to water in, the flats are covered or held under dark conditions for 3 – 5 days for germination.  After the germination period, the flats are uncovered and exposed to light to support healthy growth.  Harvest occurs 10 – 14 days later, depending on the species.

One of the major issues for microgreens production is the presence of damping off, usually caused by Botrytis or Rhizoctonia, which can be encouraged due to the planting density and growing conditions. Working with Farm Boy Micros, OHP developed a strategy to combat damping off with the application of Triathlon BA.

Triathlon BA is OMRI listed and exempt from tolerances, making it ideal for use in microgreens production. The protocol is simple. After sowing, spray the seeds with Triathlon BA at a rate of 1.28 oz/gal, or 1 gal/100 gal. This treatment protects the seeds and seedlings as they germinate, with dramatic results. The pictures below show the difference between treated (L) and untreated (R). 






Tipburn in Hydroponic Lettuce

By: Dan Gillespie, Technical Specialist

Tipburn is among the most common issues experienced in controlled environment lettuce production. Tipburn occurs as browning of the edges or tips of new young leaves (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Tipburn on young lettuce leaves

Tipburn in lettuce is most often caused by calcium deficiency. However, this deficiencyis usually not a result of insufficient calcium in the nutrient solution. To understand why tip burn occurs (and how to avoid it), we need to understand how calcium travels through the plant

Calcium moves through the plant differently than nearly all other nutrients: It requires mass flow of water. Think of it as a hose that must be turned on for the calcium to move into the plant. Mass flow is driven by transpiration, so high transpiration rates will enhance calcium uptake and translocation, whereas, low transpiration rates will decrease calcium uptake and translocation. When a head of lettuce grows, the growing point becomes enclosed by older mature leaves, creating a high humidity microclimate. This microclimate results in decreased transpiration, which leads to the tip burn.  

The first step in preventing tipburn is ensuring that calcium is not lacking in the nutrient solution and that your fertilizer formula has a proper ratio of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Source water with calcium concentration above 40 ppm is typically a good candidate for one-part fertilizer systems such as Jack’s Nutrients 12-4-16 RO or Jack’s Nutrients 15-5-20 Tap. However, source water with lower concentrations of calcium will typically require the use of a two-part fertilizer system, such as Jack’s Nutrients Part A 12-4-26 and Cal Nit Part B 15-0-0. Additionally, nutrient solution electrical conductivity should generally not exceed 2.5 mS/cm, as high soluble salt levels will decrease water and calcium uptake. Note that all Jack’s Nutrients provide the proper balance of nutrients.

As stated above, even when calcium levels in the nutrient solution are adequate, tipburn may still occur.  Improve airflow around the growing tip with the use of vertical airflow fans.Vertical airflow should provide just enough air movement to gently move plant leaves (0.3-0.5 m/sec). This will eliminate the microclimate and facilitate calcium uptake.

If vertical airflow fans cannot be installed, another option to prevent tipburn is increasing night time humidity above 95%. High nighttime humidity leads to increased root pressure, and thus, increases water and calcium translocation to the growing point of the plant. However, this strategy can increase the threat of fungal diseases that thrive in high humidity environments. 


Product NameItem Number
Jack's Nutirents 12-4-16 RO
33-12416
Jack's Nutirents 15-5-20 Tap
33-15520
Jack's Nutirents 5-12-26 FeED Part A
33-51226
Jack's Nutirents 15-0-0 Boost Cal Nit Part B
33-79080

Using Sticky Cards for Insect Monitoring

By: GGSPro Technical Specialists

Sticky cards are the best monitoring tool available for flying insects, such as thrips, fungus gnat
adults, shorefly adults, whiteflies and winged aphids. Using cards for active monitoring of these pests supports proactive decision making for best management of pest populations.
Sticky cards are available in solid yellow, solid blue, and bi-colored forms (two-sided, yellow on one side and blue on the other). Some sticky cards are pre-printed with a grid pattern that allows for quicker counting. Sticky cards come with a protective sheet that is removed to expose the sticky surface. To make these easier to work with, take a tip from the pros and keep your sticky cards refrigerated until use.
Proper use of the cards will generate the best data. Prior to placing cards in the crop, date and number each card with a consistent location code. Sticky cards should be placed above the crop with one third of the card in the canopy. Additionally, place some cards vertically just above the crop canopy; avoid placing sticky cards too high above foliage to ensure you pick up all flying insects. To monitor for insects emerging from the media (e.g. thrips and fungus gnats), place yellow sticky cards horizontally just above the media surface. Growers generally use 1-2 cards per 1000 square feet, increasing to 3-4 cards per 1000 square feet when monitoring for thrips or when monitoring higher value crops. Remember to place additional sticky cards near doors, vents or areas of concern.
Perform weekly counts of pests and beneficials captured on the cards, using a 16x hand lens to identify the insects. When recorded, this data can be analyzed for population trends on which management decisions can be made. Be sure to note any specific weather patterns in your records, too. Cards are generally replaced weekly. However, when pest activity is low, cards may be used for several weeks. If used over multiple weeks, take another tip from the pros: Use different colored Sharpies to circle and count the pests each week so you are sure to only count the new pests in later weeks.
Speaking of beneficials, when releasing Aphidius, Encarsia, Eretmocerus or Orius, take cards down on the day of release to minimize capture of the good bugs. Return the cards to the crop a few days after release.
Product
Item Number
2-color blue/yellow sticky cards, 4"x5"; 10 per pack
74-3668
Yellow moisture resistant monitoring cards, 3"x5"; 50 per pack
74-36705
Trapline T Yellow Roller trap 6"x328'
SB8051-05
Sticky yellow trap roll 12"x300'
74-12300
Sticky yellow trap roll 6"x1500'
74-61500
Sticky blue trap roll 6"x1500'
74-61500B

Controlling Water Flow

Written by:  Kurt Becker, Dramm Corporation 

You may have heard that the most important person on a cultivation team is the person with the hose in their hand. Proper irrigation can make or break a crop. One challenge is to ensure that proper flow and pressure to address different needs. This is complicated by the fact that crop needs change dramatically over a short period of time. How do you help your team meet these changing needs? You give them the right watering tools! 

Dramm produces a full assortment of professional watering tools, including water breakers. These specialized nozzles break the water into smaller droplets and streams, simulating rain, which softens impact on plants and media while absorbing and providing needed oxygen to the roots. Different water breakers tailor the delivery pattern, flow and volume for specific containers, media and plant stages. In addition to the essential, high-flow 400 series, Dramm manufactures innovative, specialized water breakers to meet all irrigation needs. 

The 1000PL Series. 

Starting with the original Redhead, the 1000PL uses 1000 smaller holes in a stainless steel disk. This allows for a softer pattern for younger plants along with the ability to throttle the flow while still keeping a pattern. Now, the 1000PLs are available in Narrow, Medium and Wide versions offering different amounts of water per square inch of coverage. 

750PL 

The 750PL reduces the flow even further. Using the same size hole as the 1000PL, but using fewer holes, the 750PL applies less water. This allows for lighter watering when required. The 750PL throws a wide pattern for less water per square inch of coverage.

Fan Nozzle 

Most fan nozzles are consumer tools and have uneven patterns. Dramm’s Commercial Fan Nozzle was developed to offer a precise, rectangular pattern that allows for medium to very low flow while still producing even streams. 

350PL Screen-Aire 

The 350 lands at the opposite end of the spectrum, delivering a very high flow rate with a soft, aerated pattern. Water exits the nozzle like a kitchen faucet, a single stream full of air bubbles. This allows for a lot of water without disturbing soil or top-dressed fertilizers. Great for quick watering of containers. The 350 is also perfect for rewetting dry media, as the bubbles hold the water on the surface of the media longer. 

Valves 

Remember to match the valve to the nozzle to allow precise control of flow rate. Valve operation is important to note. Does the watering require on-off operation or is it turn on and go? The OneTouch and OneTouch HighFlow offer easy control of the flow. Other valves, like the 300 Brass Shut-Off are high flow, quarter turn valves for quick watering.
DescriptionItem Number
Dramm 400AL 400 Water Breaker (alum, full)
80170002
Dramm 400PL Water Breaker (blue, full, w/ring)
33-6101
Dramm 170 PL Plastic water breaker
41-600101
Dramm 350PL ScreenAire Water Breaker
33-350PLC
Dramm 750PL Lemonhead Water Breaker (low)
33-5234
Dramm 1000PL RedHead Water Breaker (medium)
33-5233
Dramm 1000PL Orange Water Breaker (wide)
33-5237
Dramm 1000PL Green Water Breaker (narrow)
33-5236
Dramm 79001 Commercial Fan Nozzle
33-2079
Dramm 510 brass seedling nozzle
33-5235
Dramm Fogg-It nozzle fine 610 F
33-610F
Dramm 610SF 1/2gpm Fogg-It Hose Nozzle (SF)
33-5327
Dramm #300C Brass Shut Off Valve Heavy Duty
41-400300
Dramm 74C Wide Body Shut Off Valve, Plastic
33-51051
Dramm QAV Shut Off Valve
44-5607
Dramm One Touch Valve Handle, Low Flow
33-14700
Dramm OneTouch Valve Handle, High Flow
33-5365

Punch Out Powdery Mildew On Cannabis

Powdery mildew (PM) is made up of many fungal pathogen species that attack and thrive off healthy, living plant tissue. Golovinomyces sp. (aka Erysiphe sp.) is the most common PM species that growers find on cannabis today. We recognize PM as producing a distinctive white sporulation on the foliage that looks like powdered sugar. Without proper management through chemical and cultural practices, this pathogen can quickly spread throughout your operation and decrease crop quality.


Powdery mildew forms white spores on the surface of the foliage.
Conditions ideal for PM proliferation include moderate temperatures, dry leaf surfaces, and high humidity. Unfortunately, the optimal temperatures for PM go hand-in-hand with the ideal temperatures for cannabis production and keeping a dry leaf surface is needed to prevent other diseases such as Botrytis from developing. Thus, growers should prioritize the management of their relative humidity levels to prevent PM. A constant humidity level of 55-60% in the canopy (65-75% if using predatory mites) is preferable to excessively high humidity (>85%). Growers can maintain adequate humidity within the plant canopy with appropriate HVAC equipment in conjunction with horizontal airflow fans (HAF) or vertical airflow fans (VAF).


Powdery mildew should not be mistaken for trichome production
As for all diseases, sanitation is key to prevention, and it is important to sanitize your production
areas between crops. Following physical removal of debris, the first step is to clean all hard surfaces using a cleaning product such as Strip-It (for greenhouses) or Horti-Klor (for warehouses)*. Once surfaces have been cleaned, use a sanitizing agent such as KleenGrow (rinse direct crop contact surfaces with potable water), ZeroTol 2.0 or SaniDate 5.0 for disinfection purposes*. It is critical to ensure that all cuttings and clones coming into a new production area are free of disease. Immediately remove any infected foliage and dispose of it properly. Replace gloves and other protective equipment after handling infected material. Work in infected areas late in the day and avoid staff moving back into clean areas from infected areas.

EPA registered and 25(b) products need to be approved for use on cannabis by the regulatory agency in the state in which the product would be used. When using biofungicides, best practices call for application of ZeroTol 2.0 before Cease or Triathlon BA to destroy surface spores of the pathogen on contact while the biofungicide protects uninfected tissue. Contact your Griffin sales person or GGSPro for product rates and application intervals.


Product NameItem Number
25(b) Products
Procidic 2
71-2742
EPA Registered Products
Cease
71-13301
Companion
71-1375
Horti-Klor
74-2105
KleenGrow
74-21101
MilStop
71-2879B
Regalia CG
70-2841
SaniDate 5.0
71-35001
Sil-Matrix
71-2940
Strip-It Pro
74-2125
Triathlon BA
71-3040
ZeroTol 2.0
71-35501

*Check state approval status for these products.
Printable version

Getting More From Your Cleaners and Sanitizers With Foam

All food and medicinal crop growers take great care to keep their production spaces clean. Often, this process involves a full sanitation protocol for the production space at the end of a crop cycle to reduce the risk of carryover pests and pathogens. The complete process involves four steps: Physical cleaning (remove the debris), chemical cleaning, rinsing with clear water and sanitizing.

It’s important to include the physical and chemical cleaning steps in the process prior to sanitizing. Favorite sanitizers, including ZeroTol 2.0, SaniDate 5.0 and Kleengrow, treat the surfaces they contact. If the surface is dirty, the sanitizers will treat the debris, but not penetrate to the surface below. If the sanitizer can’t contact the surface, the surface can’t get clean!

We can all increase the efficacy of our cleaners and sanitizers by utilizing the power of foam. Foaming makes the application more effective by increasing coverage and contact time. Foams also make it a lot easier to see where treatments have been applied.

Griffin offers two great foamers from Dramm to get this job done. With both small and large volume options, growers can have the right tools for all needs, from large greenhouses spaces to smaller warehouse production rooms. The Foam8L is a 5 liter compression foamer that is highly portable and great for small spaces. Expect to treat 400-500 sq ft from one full tank. For larger spaces, turn to the FM20-30 foamer. This cart unit has a 20 gallon tank, a 30 foot hose and runs on compressed air*. Both products are compatible with popular cleaners and sanitizers.

 Ask your Griffin sales person for a bulletin outlining GGSPro’s recommendations for hard surface sanitation for food and medicinal crops. Your sales person can help you choose the right cleaner and sanitizer for your situation and will let you know if you need to add a foaming agent to the tank


Dramm Compression Foamer 8L Tank - $157.59

Dramm Compression Foamer 8L Tank - $157.59
No 74-2688

Buy Now

Dramm Foamer FM 20-30 Aire Powered 20gal Tank - $1,485.26

Dramm Foamer FM 20-30 Aire Powered 20gal Tank - $1,485.26
No 74-2689

Buy Now

*Compressed air source required for the FM20-30 Foamer
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Boosting Root Development in Cannabis Crops

Cannabis growers are a diverse group. Some grow hemp, others grow marijuana. Some produce organic crops, others use conventional products. But, all cannabis growers have one thing in common: They need healthy roots as quickly as possible.

Proper moisture management is the key to good root growth. Early in propagation, maintain high humidity around seeds and cuttings without adding moisture to the media, which should be wet but not saturated. As roots develop, careful irrigation maintains even media in the wet to moist state. Once roots reach the bottom of the cells, allow the media to dry to the lower end of moist, widening the moisture cycle as the roots continue to develop. Media should never be allowed to reach a dry stage during propagation.


Essential Plus 1-0-1
To boost root development, Griffin’s GGSPro technical team encourages cannabis growers to utilize Essential 1-0-1. Essential 1-0-1 is a liquid, nutritional supplement containing humic acid, yucca (natural wetting agent) and amino acids in a solution with a very low nutritional charge. This OMRI-listed, organic product has no pesticidal activity or claims, which means it is universally acceptable for use on cannabis. Essential 1-0-1 has a proven track record of speeding and increasing root growth in a wide variety of crops, and we are seeing the same thing in cannabis. Cultivators report stronger root growth and positive impacts on secondary compounds. Apply once as roots start to develop in propagation and again at transplant at 32 oz/100 gal. Many growers realized benefits when repeating application every four weeks throughout the crop. Essential 1-0-1 is compatible with most water-soluble fertilizers, which means you can blend it in your concentrated stock tanks and inject right along with your fertilizer. Or, mix it at final rate in your batch reservoirs.


Add Essential 1-0-1 to your SOP, watch your moisture levels and build roots more quickly for ongoing crop health.

 

Featured products


Essential Plus 1-0-1 2.5 gal

Essential Plus 1-0-1 2.5 gal
No 160004GR

Buy Now

Essential Plus 1-0-2 30 gal

Essential Plus 1-0-2 30 gal
No 166001GR

Buy Now

Essential Plus 1-0-3 1 gal

Essential Plus 1-0-3 1 gal
No 166002GR

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Essential Plus 1-0-4 1 qt

Essential Plus 1-0-4 1 qt
No 166003GR

Buy Now


Planning to purchase a larger number of containers of Essential 1-0-1? Ask about volume discounts.
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Hemp Russet Mites: Scouting and Control Tips

Hemp Russet Mite (HRM) is an eriophyid mite that can severely damage flowers and decrease THC and CBD in cannabis production. Eriophyid mites are small, cigar-shaped pests; they’re capable of reproducing profusely. They infest many horticultural crops.


The eriophyid mite that occurs in cannabis is called Aculops cannabicola. It’s known to occur on cannabis, as well as hops and hackberry.

HRM can infest indoor production facilities throughout the year. These mites are carried on incoming plant material, on staff and tools. They can also move readily on wind currents.


Hemp Russet Mites on cannabis

HRM scouting tips

HRM detection should be part of the weekly scouting protocol that goes with yellow sticky card and whole-plant inspections. HRM should be addressed as quickly as possible.

When scouting, growers should look for leaf curling and carefully inspect leaves with a 20X hand lens or greater magnification. Scout crop edges and, since HRM are known to spread on wind currents, look near fans, too.

Inward leaf curling is another sign of infestation. If leaf curling is observed, sample the leaves and look in the nooks and crannies of the leaves for HRM.

HRM control options

Control options in cannabis are limited. Beneficial insects are a great option for early HRM infestations, but they’re not known to completely eradicate HRM populations. Release BCAs preventively for best control of HRM.

Horticultural oil sprays are effective at reducing populations. Applicators must read and follow the label instructions, and also follow all state and local regulations regarding chemical application to cannabis crops. All products listed below may not be approved for use in all states. Products other than those listed may be safe, effective and legal.

 

Featured products

Product Name
Description
Item Number
Ecotec Plus 17%
2.5 gal, OMRI-listed
70-1507
SuffOil-X Spray Oil 80%
2.5 gal, OMRI-listed
70-4040
Amblyseius andersoni
62,500 BI 250 mini sachets w/hook
30AI2H
Amblyseius andersoni
Mini sachets on sticks, 1000/CS
SB0016-50
Anderline aa
A. andersoni, 125K 5 liter bag SB
SB0016-02
Anderline aa
A. andersoni 200 mini sachets SB
SB0016-31
Amblyline cal
A californicus 200 mini sachets w/hooks SB
SB0013-31
Californiline
Amblyseius californicus, 2000/bottle SB
SB0013-01

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