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R.W. McMahon, R.K. Lindquist, B.D. Baith, T.L. Makin and M.L. Casey

A 2-year demonstration study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of two sources of Encarsia formosa (EF) on the biological control of the sweetpotato whitefly (SPWF) (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius) on poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild.). Commercially produced EF were raised on the greenhouse whitefly (GHWF) (Trialuerodes vaporariorum Westwood), while the locally produced EF were raised on the SPWF. Results showed that SPWF populations were reduced considerably both years, and maximum nymph parasitism ranged from 60% to >80%. No large differences were observed in the ability of EF to control SPWF populations whether raised on SPWF or GHWF nymphs. This study suggests that there is potential for controlling SPWF populations on poinsettia by EF in conjunction with an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

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R.W. McMahon, R.K. Lindquist, M.L. Casey, A.C. Witt and S.H. Kinnamon

A demonstration study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of biological and chemical control treatments on the greenhouse whitefly (GHWF) (Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Westwood) using poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild.) stock plants. Two identical greenhouse compartments, each containing 84 stock plants, were used. In the biological control compartment, three biweekly releases of Encarsia formosa (EF) were made, while in the chemical control compartment eight weekly applications of resmethrin or acephate aerosol treatments were made. Results showed that overall greenhouse whitefly populations in the chemical control compartment were slightly lower than in the biological control compartment. Cuttings taken from stock plants in the biological control compartment at the end of the experiment were commercially acceptable with regard to the presence of GHWF adults. Chemical names used: O,S-dimethyl acetylphosphoramidothioate (acephate), [5-(phenylmethyl)-3-furanyl] methyl 2,2-dimethyl-3-(2-methyl-1-propenyl)cyclopropane-carboxylate (resmethrin).

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Karen L. Panter, Timmothy M. Gergeni, Casey P. Seals and Andrea R. Garfinkel

High tunnels are gaining popularity for their use in horticultural crop production. However, little is known about the effect of high tunnel orientation on plant growth and development. In this set of studies, we show tunnel orientation does not necessarily affect the production of cut sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and culinary herbs oregano (Origanum vulgare), marjoram (Origanum majorana), and garlic chive (Allium tuberosum). Two high tunnels, one with the long axis oriented north-south (NS) and the other east-west (EW), were used to test the effects of high tunnel orientation on several crops over a 5-year period: cut sunflower (2012 and 2016); marjoram, oregano, and garlic chive (2013 and 2014); and garlic chive (2015). The tunnels are 12 × 16 ft, smaller than those used in commercial production. The size would be appropriate for hobby and seasonal production of horticultural crops for local markets. Cut sunflower stems were similar lengths both years in both high tunnels. Sunflower times to harvest were different between cultivars but not between high tunnels. Oregano fresh weight yields were highest in the NS tunnel in 2013 but similar between tunnels in 2014. Marjoram fresh weights were highest in 2013 in the EW tunnel but highest in 2014 in the NS tunnel. Garlic chive fresh weights were similar between tunnels all 3 years. We show that differences are more a function of innate cultivar characteristics than which way small high tunnels are oriented.