Learn everything you need to know about biocontrols from the experts.

Continuing Education Hours are available for the following programs:

California Department of Pesticide Regulation
19.5 total
(17.5 other, 2.0 Laws and Regulations)

Certified Crop Adviser
16 total
(Integrated Pest Management)

Nevada Department of Agriculture
16 total
(14 General, 2.0 Laws)

Agenda as of 2-16-17

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Credits listed for California DPR Continuing Education.
Other program CEUs will be listed at the event.

7:30 am – 5:00 pm


7:30 am

Biocontrols USA West 2017 Expo Opens

7:30 – 8:30 am

Hands-on Presentation Seminar (1.0 – Other)
Morning Refreshments in Expo Hall

8:30 – 8:45 am

Biocontrols USA West 2017 Conference Welcome

8:45 – 9:30 am

Biological Control and Biopesticides: An Integrated Plant Protection Strategy Whose Time Has Come (.75 – Other)

Dr. Raymond A. Cloyd – Professor & Extension Specialist in Horticultural Entomology/Plant Protection, Department of Entomology, Kansas State University

There’s increased interest among growers in using biological control due to issues associated with insecticide resistance, increased costs and regulations affiliated with registering new products, and the supposed impact of neonicotinoid systemic insecticides on pollinators. There is also an increase in growing food crops in various production systems including hydroponics and aquaponics. As such, we have opportunities to integrate biological control agents with biopesticides (e.g. entomopathogenic fungi and bacteria) to suppress insect and mite pest populations.

In this keynote presentation kicking off the Biocontrols USA West 2017 Conference, Dr. Cloyd will explain how you can integrate biological control agents into plant protection programs that include the use of biopesticides, sharing examples of growers implementing biological control programs in both ornamental and food crop production systems. Come learn the benefits of integrating biological control agents with biopesticides, and see how you can do more to reduce pesticide inputs and the potential for pesticide resistance; experience less risk of plant phytotoxicity; create a safer work environment for your employees; and have less pesticide residues on your plant material.

9:30 – 10:15 am

The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Biocontrols (.75 – Other)

Kyle Peterson – Production Manager, Fessler Nursery

Technical knowledge is tantamount to the success of any biological control program for growers and pest control advisers. In this session, we’ll take a look at the broader picture to explore additional aspects of running a successful biological program and how they can be applied to business in general, creating more profit and higher sales. Another challenge many growers face is the level of acceptance they receive from the decision makers above them towards biological control programs, as well as the support they receive from their customer bases, who may not clearly understand the benefits. We’ll offer some tools that will allow you to communicate effectively with both your bosses and your customers to help achieve buy-in and support for these valuable tools, which are necessary to build a great integrated pest management program.

10:15 – 11:00 am

Expo Hall – Hands-on Presentation Seminar (.75 – Other)
Coffee Break – Visit the Expo

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Biocontrol Products You Need To Know For 2017 (1.0 – Laws & Regulations)

Richard Jones – Executive Editor, U.S. Horticulture Group, Meister Media Worldwide

In this rapid-fire session, you will learn about some of the best new biopesticide, biochemical, microbial, and biostimulants technologies. Representatives from biocontrol manufacturers will discuss new products and applicable label changes that everyone in the fruit, nut, vegetable, and ornamental markets will need to be aware of for the 2017 growing season.

12:00 – 1:00 pm


1:00 – 1:30 pm

Expo Hall – Hands-on Presentation Seminar (.5 – Other)
Dessert – Visit the Expo

1:30 – 2:00 pm

Regulatory Updates from U.S. EPA (.5 – Laws & Regulations)

Robert McNally – Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, US EPA

Robert McNally will fill us in on a number of topics, including:

  • What is going on with respect to biopesticides at EPA?
  • How are biopesticides currently categorized at EPA?
  • What are the new products in the microbial and biochemical categories and how are they used?
  • What is going on with biopesticides registrations on cannabis at EPA?

In addition, Mr. McNally will discuss BPPD’s priorities and direction for 2017 and what EPA would like to see move forward with respect to biopesticides in 2017. This will include a discussion on biostimulants, current policy and practice.

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Regulatory Updates from California DPR (.5 – Laws & Regulations)

Richard Spas – Senior Environmental Scientist, The Pesticide Registration Branch of DPR

The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) regulates pesticide use in California to protect human health and the environment. One of the ways DPRs fulfills its mission is by registering pesticides prior to their use in California, including both conventional pesticides as well as biopesticides. In this session, learn about the types and examples of biopesticides regulated by DPR, including biochemical and microbial products, and develop a better understanding of the data DPR uses in registering biopesticides, including how the department works with U.S. EPA data (as well as situations where data may be requested above and beyond U.S. EPA requirements). Additionally, DPR is in the process of reviewing requested pesticide registrations for use on cannabis. Attendees will learn about pesticide registrations submitted for use on cannabis and their review as special local need (section 24 (c)) registrations.

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Advances in Biocontrol – Update from BPIA (.5 – Other)

Rick Melnick – Global Brand and Communications Manager, Valent BioSciences Corporation
Tim Damico – Executive V.P. NAFTA, Certis USA

With consumer demand for sustainable produce at an all-time high, increasing regulatory pressure on conventional crop systems, and the need to meet stringent and variable MRLs around the world, biopesticides are able to deliver performance and offer many solutions to these new challenges.
In this session, Rick Melnick and Tim Damico, members of the Biopesticide Industry Alliance Board of Directors, will help you learn:

  • How to respond to these new market demands
  • How biopesticide products can be incorporated into integrated programs to deliver performance and provide resistance management
  • Ways biopesticides can help you better manage worker safety and provide for harvest flexibility
  • Helpful techniques and expertise in the use of biopesticides, and
  • How to manage biopesticides with regard to MRL concerns.
3:00 – 3:30 pm

Expo Hall – Hands-on Presentation Seminar (.5 – Other)
Coffee Break – Visit the Expo

Breakout Sessions – Two Options
Biocontrols & Vegetable Crops

This breakout session gets down to specifics of using biocontrols in pest management programs in California vegetable crops.

3:30 – 4:00 pm

New Botanical Insecticides for Field and Greenhouse Vegetable Crops (.5 – Other)

Murray B. Isman – Professor Entomology & Toxicology, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia

After being marginalized for decades by the widespread use of conventional chemical insecticides, botanical insecticides have re-emerged as viable and important alternatives in the growers’ arsenal for the management of vegetable pests, both in row crop and greenhouse production. Products based on plant essential oils or plant extracts are becoming increasingly valued by pest control advisers and growers — particularly in organic production — owing to their efficacy, worker safety, and compatibility with biocontrol agents. In this session, learn about the newest botanicals’ novel modes of action, including both contact toxicity and behavioral actions (deterrence, repellence), and how they can be used in vegetable IPM programs as early season standalone treatments or in combination with conventional products in rotation or as tank mixes. You will also learn how best to deploy these products for maximum efficacy while maintaining environmental sustainability.

4:00 – 4:30 pm

Silicon, Biocontrol, and the Benefits for Vegetable Crops (.5 – Other)

Wendy L. Zellner, PhD – Research Plant Physiologist, The University of Toledo

Silicon (Si) is a plant nutrient that plays an important role in stress responses and has shown enhanced tolerance to environmental stress and pathogenic infection, as well as a reduction in insect herbivory. Recently, soluble potassium silicates have been approved for use as a biopesticide for the control of fungi, mites, and other insects. Even though plants from different families vary greatly in their foliar Si concentrations, all have the ability to benefit from Si. In this presentation, you will be introduced to Si as a plant nutrient, how it is acquired by various plants and how we believe it is working to aid in the resistance to not just adverse environmental conditions, but pathogenic infection as well. You’ll get information on commercially available products, how they are labeled for sale, and application strategies. We will also talk about adverse responses to high application rates of Si, including its role in chelating out micronutrients, having the potential to lead to deficiencies in sensitive crops.

4:30 – 5:00 pm

Whitefly Management (.5 – Other)

T. Engelkes, PhD – Koppert Biological Systems, Inc.

Whitefly is one of the major insect pests in greenhouse and field vegetables, and tomatoes in particular. Experience has taught us that a single approach often is not enough to gain and maintain control. This session will educate you on how to integrate the use of monitoring, biopesticides, beneficial insects, and conventional pesticides by building knowledge of the biology of both the pest and their predators. You’ll also learn details about the predators’ interaction with biopesticides and conventional pesticides.

Biocontrols & Cannabis Crops

Sessions that get down to specifics of using biocontrols in pest management programs in California cannabis crops.

3:30 – 5:00 pm

Biocontrol & Cannabis: What You Need to Know (1.5 – Other)

Natalie Darves – Professor, Oaksterdam University

Ed RosenthalProfessor, Oaksterdam University
Jeff Jones – Professor, Oaksterdam University

In this session, a panel of educators with expertise in the commercial production of cannabis will discuss a number of issues pertinent to pest control advisers and growers as adult use of the crop becomes legal in the state of California and production expands. With the dearth of registered pesticide products for cannabis, biocontrol is a critical tool for pest control advisers and growers. You will learn about the state of pest control programs, including the use of biocontrol, for cannabis in California.

Specific discussion will include the life cycle of the plant from roots to flowering and what to watch out for in each lifecycle of the plant (from aphids to spider mites); Common off-label practices in the cannabis industry; current regulatory issues; issues regarding the possibility of consumer recalls due to pesticide use; and the importance of considerations regarding pesticides and biopesticides and consumption of the product. In this session, you will learn about specific biocontrol organisms (including nematodes), pheromones, microbials, and biopesticides. Presenters will also discuss recommendations for various common issues and best production practices (including disinfection, etc.)

5:00 – 6:30 pm

Networking Reception in Expo Hall

Friday, March 3, 2017

Credits listed for California DPR Continuing Education.
Other program CEUs will be listed at the event.

7:30 am – 12:00 pm


7:30 am

Expo Opens

7:30 am – 8:30 am

Morning Refreshments in Expo Hall

Breakout Sessions – Two Options
Biocontrols & Fruit/Nut Crops 

Sessions that get down to specifics of using biocontrols in pest management programs in California fruit and tree nut crops.

8:30 – 9:00 am

Managing Spotted Wing Drosophila (.5 – Other)

Cherre Bezerra Da Silva, PhD – Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University

The management of spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, is a challenge for most growers of soft- and thin-skinned fruits. However, research efforts have been carried out to better understand this species and its natural enemies, with the intent to develop more sustainable ways to control the pest. In this session, you will learn about the biology and behavior of SWD and one of its parasitoids, and how researchers and growers can use this information to develop better control strategies. Additionally, see what research on classical biological control of SWD has recently accomplished and how these efforts may contribute to a more sustainable management of D. suzukii.

9:00 – 9:30 am

Strategies for Controlling Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (.5 – Other)

Nik Wiman – Orchard Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Horticulture Department,
Oregon State University Extension

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a serious threat to several important orchard crop industries in the Western U.S. This session will discuss basic BMSB biology and ecology, management tactics, and the great need for biological control to reduce populations of BMSB in multiple habitats. Learn about the diversity of natural enemies that attack BMSB in the U.S., predator and parasitoid species, and the classical biological control program for BMSB using Trissolcus japonicus, now known as Samurai wasp. T. japonicus was imported to U.S. quarantine facilities as a candidate for release against BMSB, but has recently started showing up in the field after having apparently arrived on both coasts of the U.S. unassisted.

9:30 – 10:00 am

The Role of Kairomones in Monitoring and Control of Key Pests (.5 – Other)

Brad Higbee – Field R&D Manager, Trécé Inc

Pheromones are a familiar tool in pest monitoring and pest management programs. But you may not know about a newer technology being introduced in pest management: kairomones. These semiochemicals are emitted by an organism and detected by a different species which tries to take advantage of that detection. Learn what kairomones are, how they can be used for monitoring and control of pests, and how to identify potential benefits and integrate kairomones into your current management programs.

Biocontrols & Ornamental Crops

Experts Go In-Depth on Biocontrols in Greenhouse & Ornamental Crops

8:30 – 9:00 am

Biological Warfare for Greenhouse Aphids
(.5 – Other)

Dr. John Sanderson – Associate Professor, Dept. of Entomology, Cornell University

This presentation on aphid biocontrol will have information for novice to advanced biocontrol growers. Natural enemies will be described for each of the common greenhouse aphid pests, including pathogens, predators, and parasitoids. This session will describe how some beneficials work well against some aphids but not against others, and the importance of environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity for both aphids and some beneficials. Various release methods will be covered, including routine releases, banker plants, and Aphidoletes “love nests.” Learn what to look for in a scouting program to ensure beneficials are active. Some recent work on combinations of beneficials for mixtures of aphid pests, and the sometimes surprising effect of fertilizers (liquid feed, controlled release, and organic) on aphid outbreaks and biocontrol outcomes will be included.

9:00 – 9:30 am

Managing Biological Control Agents in the Greenhouse: Thinking Outside of the Bio Box
(.5 – Other)

Kelly Vance – Technical Sales & Support, Beneficial Insectary

With biological pest control gaining popularity with growers far and wide, many are taking the task of innovating new release systems, integrated management techniques, and tools to increase production and efficacy into their own hands. Whether it’s release methods, banker and feeder plant systems, or providing habitats for biological control agents (BCAs), growers are improvising, adapting and overcoming challenges in the field or the greenhouse.  During this presentation, you will learn about determining which release methods are best suited for your situation, attracting naturally occurring BCAs, and providing habitats and the right conditions to keep your beneficials fighting the good fight. This session will discuss successes, failures, and ongoing trials growers have underway.

9:30 – 10:00 am

Grower Case Study: A Biopesticide Approach to Pest and Disease Control (.5 – Other)

Tom Costamagna – Director of Growing, American Color, Inc.

This session will focus on using a “biopesticide” approach to pest and disease control using the ornamental greenhouse operation, American Color, as a case study. Come learn from American Color’s Director of Growing about his implementation of a program using a fermentation of products for root health and control of pest and diseases above the soil line. He uses this in conjunction with commercially available products comprised of entomopathogenic fungi and bacteria. In this session, you’ll learn how you can make a similar transition by implementing American Color’s scouting, climate manipulation, plant nutrition and various multi-prong approaches Tom has implemented using the ordinary tools available to growers, along with materials that are not highly commercialized that can be used in a systems approach.

10:00 – 10:30 am

Expo Hall – Hands-on Presentation Seminar (.5 – Other)
Coffee Break – Visit the Expo

General Session Presentations
10:30 – 11:00 am

Plant Biostimulants: Evolution or Revolution? (.5 – Other)

David Lanciault – President and CEO, Agricen Sciences

This presentation will offer an overview of the biostimulants segment, and how the technologies fit into integrated crop management practices and disciplines. In this session, you will learn:

  • The landscape of biostimulant product technologies — what they are and what agronomic and economic benefits they target
  • Regulatory considerations: where biostimulants fit in the framework of plant regulators and exempted or “dual use” products
  • Attributes of major categories of products — active ingredients/modes of action and where they fit
  • Considerations for selection and use, in the context of integrated crop management practices, and
  • Trends in R&D: Where the investment in biostimulant technologies is taking us.
11:00 – 11:30 am

Practical Application of Biostimulants for Soil and Plant Health (.5 – Other)

John Kempf – Founder and Vision Builder, Advancing Eco Agriculture

How can you use biostimulants most effectively to produce the greatest economic crop benefit? In this session, learn about the different biostimulant products available and their various performance mechanisms: humic and fulvic acids, seaweeds, mycorrhizal and other fungi, rhizosphere bacteria, phytosanitary bacteria, plant immune elicitors, microbial stimulants and more. A number of biostimulants can have a dual function and serve both as a biostimulant and a biopesticide, in that they increase plant vigor and can also be used for pest management. Understanding how to select and stack products with different actions can provide the maximum impact on crop performance. Many of these biostimulants are dependent on optimum application timing for the best returns. In this presentation, you will learn how to position different types of biostimulants in a crop system plan for best pest management and the greatest economic crop response, with an emphasis on using biostimulants which both improve plant vigor and also function as immune elicitors to increase pest resistance.

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Marine Plant Biostimulant Extracts in Agriculture: New Frontiers (.5 – Other)

Dr. Jeff Norrie – Senior Scientist, Acadian Plant Health (a division of Acadian Seaplants Limited)

As a natural and sustainable product, Ascophyllum nodosum extract (ANE) has been found to elicit measurable responses that influence protein synthesis and activity, and provide a level of stress resistance/tolerance (anti-oxidant) to treated plants and serve to influence crop nutrition, growth, yield and quality. In this session, you will learn:

  • How plants react to different stresses
  • The role of biostimulants in mitigating these responses
  • Different application methods (foliar, soil)
  • The influence of rates and timings on various crops
  • New research on soil health and how we can synergize with microbial communities in the rhizosphere, and
  • Innovation through integration: Information on synergistic effects from biostimulants with other products, including conventional and biopesticides and pest management programs.
12:00 pm


Optional Workshops

Credits listed for California DPR Continuing Education.
Other program CEUs will be listed at the event.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - Pre-conference

Quality Control with Your Biocontrol Program 

(4.5 hours – Other)

Available at additional cost. Must be an attendee of Biocontrols Conference and Expo to register.

10:00 am -12:00 pm

Quality Control with Your Biocontrol Program

12:00 – 1:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:00 p.m. –   4:00 pm

Session resumes after lunch

Prior to the start of the Biocontrols USA West 2017 Conference & Expo, attendees will have an opportunity to attend an optional workshop to enhance their skills in successfully implementing a biocontrol program.

This one-day workshop is designed to help you take your biocontrol knowledge and skills to the next level. Buglady Consulting’s Suzanne Wainwright-Evans and other biocontrols experts will walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to get the best results from a biocontrol program. During this five-hour session, you will get to know in-depth and learn about the biology of each of the commercially reared biological control agents (BCA), understand how to assess the quality of these BCAs, and learn about intraguild predation issues, which BCAs can be stored, optimum environmental conditions, application methods, and insecticide compatibility with BCAs. You will also receive a quality control starter kit to help you check your own biocontrol agents when back at work.

Friday, March 3, 2017 - Post Conference

Getting Started with Biocontrols

(3 hours – Other)

1:00 p.m. –   4:00 pm

If you’re learning the ropes in using biopesticides and other biocontrols, or just need a refresher on the topic, this half-day workshop if is for you. Instructor Suzanne Wainwright-Evans of Buglady Consulting will help you avoid costly mistakes as you learn about biocontrol agents for key pests, biocontrol suppliers you need to know, application and release methods, and recordkeeping tools. Larger-than-life images and video will help you see first-hand what’s really going on with your crops. Bring your questions for an interactive session that will help you implement an effective biocontrol program in your operation.

Note: You must be registered for the Biocontrols USA West 2017 Conference to register for this workshop.