Agricultural and horticultural growers face significant challenges to maximize the returns on their investments. While part of this equation involves the efficient possible use of inputs, a grower’s income is ultimately dependent upon crop quality and yield.
Biopesticides are often included as “standard” inputs in production programs as a means to significantly improve quality and yield of crops under challenging conditions. Such products, which include a variety of both microbial and biochemical biocontrols, may be used to protect the crop from pathogens, insect pests, and/or weeds that can divert or restrict the crop’s access to valuable resources such as water, sunlight, or nutrients. Thus, biocontrols help to promote crop health thereby increasing its salability. In organic production systems, biocontrols represent some of the most significant crop protection tools that a grower has to produce a quality crop.
Plant growth regulators (PGRs) enable growers to improve crop quality and yield in a different way. Rather than mitigating pest damage to the crop, PGRs evoke physiological benefits such as increased fruit size or enhanced color. As color and fruit size are often key determinates in the price a grower receives for a crop, application of biocontrols have the ability to increase overall yield resulting in higher net farm income.