The 2024 BioSolutions Conference & Expo, which takes place March 4-6 in Visalia, CA, is dedicated to exploring the use of biological tools and associated technologies as sustainable production solutions for specialty crop growers and advisers throughout North America. It’s also a prime opportunity to make new connections and learn from fellow growers, facilitating the exchange of solutions for common challenges.
The key areas of focus for the conference include:
- Cutting-Edge Biological Products: Dive into the realm of biological products, from micronutrients to beneficial insects. Understand how these elements are reshaping North American agriculture for the better.
- Technological Innovations and Tools: Explore the non-traditional inputs, new biological technologies and supporting tools that are reshaping agriculture. From soil testing kits to drones and application, discover how these advancements are maximizing the efficacy of biologicals.
- Sustainability in Agriculture: Learn how biological products, coupled with cutting-edge technology, contribute to sustainable crop production. Explore methods to adapt to extreme weather conditions for long-term viability.
Greenhouse Breakout Presentations
- What You Need to Know About Thrips parvispinus: Hear from lead Thrips parvispinus researchers about work to date, its significance for your operations, and what studies are planned for the future. Get an update on biocontrol studies against parvispinus, and understand the outlook for this pest.
- Biorational Products for Botrytis Control in Floriculture Production: As fungicide resistance becomes pervasive, biorational alternatives become necessary to address botrytis blight management. Learn the top-performing biorational products tested and their application in greenhouse and postharvest environments. Get insights from a three-year study of a variety of biorational products for botrytis blight management, including biological control agents, plant nutrients, plant extracts, microorganism-derived compounds, and systemic acquired inducers.
- Making Sense Out of Microbial Products for My Operation: How does someone determine what’s real and what’s not from the ever-expanding field of microbial products? This session will provide greenhouse and nursery growers with the tools of discernment to identify microorganism-based products that legitimately have the potential to help prevent or resolve production issues, as well as a description of microbe-based biopesticide, plant growth-promotion, and nutrient-access products and their modes of action, and successful use case studies.
- Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD): A Sustainable Disease Management Option for Controlling Soilborne Pathogens in Protected Agriculture. Plant diseases are one of the most important problems faced by the cut flower industry. The availability of environmentally sound, broad-spectrum, effective disease management options that can be integrated in sustainable farming is a high priority for this growing industry. Join this session to learn more about applying ASD — already proven effective in high tunnel vegetable production — to cut flower production.
More Education on Tap
In addition to crop-specific discussions, the BioSolutions Conference also includes a range of presentations aimed at specialty crop growers of all types.
- Keynote Presentation: Cultivating Sustainability: Navigating Partnerships for the Future of Specialty Crop Agriculture: Join Paul Brierley, Director of Agriculture for the state of Arizona, as he explores the remarkable strides made by specialty crop growers in adopting new technologies, products, and practices for sustainable agriculture. Delving into the pivotal role of partnerships with researchers, regulators, and commercial customers, Director Brierley will highlight the evolving landscape where non-ag entities influence on-farm operations.
- Compatibility of Biopesticides with Traditional Chemistry and Bios: This presentation will consider bioinsecticides and natural enemies and will include information on their use with conventional products (ways to ensure compatibility), along with working examples and resources available to growers to guide their decisions around product selections and timing.
- High Tech IPM – A Look into Monitoring and Application Technologies: Learn about drone technology to be used for both pests and biocontrol agents while reducing labor, increasing accuracy, and improving logistics. This presentation will cover multiple companies and their ability to aid producers when planning or executing their IPM programs.
Tours and Workshops
On March 4, attendees of the BioSolutions Conference & Expo will have a chance to visit the following specialty crop operations and research fields to learn more about sustainable production methods and biological products in action. Lunch will be provided. Advance registration is required.
- Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella
- Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
- Terranova Ranch
- Ramos Torres Winery
In addition, the Conference features two post-event workshops:
United Kingdom-Based Greenwood Plants Named International Grower of the Year
- Pest Identification and Control in Greenhouse Operations and the Field: Learn techniques to improve your integrated pest management (IPM) program in greenhouse operations. Participate in lessons that will help you produce a high-quality crop more efficiently and effectively. Walk away with knowledge and skills that you can put to work in your operation immediately.
- Gear Up for the California Roadmap to Sustainable Pest Management: Take a seat for an electric ride of a workshop, designed to equip growers and other stakeholder organizations for success as California steers to its destination of Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) by 2050. Learn what the roadmap means for your growing operations, whether you’re in California or other parts of North America. Expert speakers will guide you through practical strategies to navigate challenges and seize opportunities presented by this ambitious initiative.
The 2024 BioSolutions Conference & Expo is presented by Meister Media Worldwide and powered by Greenhouse Grower, American Fruit Grower, and American Vegetable Grower.