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At the Plant Care Facility University of Illinois Nathan A. Deppe, PCF Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "At the Plant Care Facility University of Illinois Nathan A. Deppe, PCF Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 At the Plant Care Facility University of Illinois Nathan A. Deppe, PCF Coordinator

2 Plant Care Facility - Information Comprised of Three Greenhouse Complexes Turner Hall Greenhouse Built circa 1965 (3 phases) 30 bays for research, demonstration, and education based plant materials Conventional materials only (no regulated plants or organisms)

3 Greenhouse Complexes Plant Sciences Laboratory Greenhouse Built circa bays Variety of research and education based materials Biosafety level 1 and 2 for research with regulated plants and organisms

4 Greenhouse Complexes - Cont. USDA Greenhouse Built in bays Specialized soybean and maize research (APHIS permitted materials) Biosafety level 1 and 2 containment

5 Greenhouse Complexes-Cont. In total, 100 bays for plant material Approximately 1 hectare in area Used by College of ACES, Department of Plant Biology, USDA-ARS, and private companies

6 Plant Types at PCF Plant Collections Tropical and sub-tropical plants Ferns, epiphytes, succulents Horticultural Crops Floral, bedding, and vegetable crops Agronomic Crops Small cereal grains Perennial grasses Maize and sorghum Soybean

7 Greenhouse Staff Three Greenhouse Section Managers Building Operating Engineer Soil Operations Manager Plant Biology Staff PCF Clerk Part-time Student Employees

8 For superior soybean research at the Plant Care Facility

9 Soilless Based Products Plug and Seedling Mix Fafard product (fine peat and perlite) Medium Porosity Sunshine Loose Compact #1 (LC1) Contains medium grade peat and perlite High Porosity Metro-Mix 900 Peat, perlite, bark, and vermiculite

10 Benefits of Soilless Substrates Lightweight construct makes for easier handling Vessels/pots are less heavy to transport Better infiltration of water and nutrients Peat offers superb cation-exchange capacity Increased ability to leach salts RECOMMENDATIONS: Use medium porosity mixes during colder months and high porosity mixes during warmer months Try a variety of mixes to see what performs best for your research Do not overheat if pasteurizing or sterilizing prior to use

11 Potential pH Adjustment pH of soilless substrates are generally low (5-6.5) Adjust using dolomitic limestone Incorporate mechanically in mix Suspend in liquid and leach thru soil profile

12 Mineral Soil Based Products Local topsoil blended with: Sand (fine or medium grade) Peat Perlite Vermiculite Calcined clay Soilless bagged mixes Nutritive amendments

13 Preparing Soil Substrate Mixes Shred local topsoil to fine tilth Mix ingredients in batch mixer Load into pasteurization soil cart Pasteurize at 175 F for 1 hour Transport to site

14 Popular Soybean Soil Mixes Conventional Soybean Mix Mix and pasteurize 1:1:1 (soil : sand : perlite (by volume)) Transgenic Soybean Mix Mix and pasteurize 2:1 (conventional soybean mix : metro- mix 900 (by volume)) RECOMMENDATIONS: Use on small scale plantings if you are unfamiliar with soil mixes Do not use in tall columnar pots as sinking soil will drastically increase bulk density thereby plugging drainage

15 Monitor Soil Pasteurization Soil pasteurization is required to destroy: Soil borne diseases Weed seed Insects Pasteurizing at high temps on long cycles can lead to: Manganese toxicity in soybean

16 For excellent soybean growth at the Plant Care Facility

17 Water Soluble vs. Slow Release Slow Release Fertilizer Incorporate into substrate Topdress Aim for one application Osmocote products (8-9 mo) (8-9 mo) (5-6 mo)

18 Water Soluble Fertilizers Water Soluble Fertilizer Constant feed or pulse fertilization Easy to dose by concentration of N,P,K (ppm) Multiple formulations for diverse plant types and growth stages Everris Products Peter’s Excel cal-mag Peter’s Professional

19 Fertilizer Recommendations If using slow release products, water soluble fertilizers can be applied as needed during plant cycle Make sure to frequently leach salts from soil column as to not increase electrical conductivity past point of damage Determine the alkalinity of your water supply to help you select the most compatible water based fertilizers at your facility Keep phosphorous in check

20 Minimizing insects, mites, and disease on plants at the PCF

21 Cultural, Biological, and Chemical Control Cultural Control for Managing Pests Sanitary conditions Removal of pest infested material Implement sound irrigation and fertilization regimes Keeping plants spaced and rooms organized

22 Sanitation thru Heat Treatment Heat Treating (baking) Greenhouse Rooms Increasing room temp to over 100 F for a period of days Minimizes insects, mites, and pathogens Exercise caution as to not over heat room thereby damaging electronics or shade materials

23 Biological Control Agents BCA Program at PCF Damage thresholds established per research objectives Weekly scouting for insect and mite damage on soybean Order and release BCAs monthly

24 BCAs Used at the PCF Amblyseius californicus Predatory mite that feeds on two-spotted spider mites Packaged with vermiculite carrier Breeding sachets for slow release Amblyseius cucumeris Predatory mite that feeds on thrips Packaged with bran carrier Sprinkled liberally on infested plant leaf surfaces

25 BCAs Used at the PCF – Cont. Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Predatory beetle used to control mealy bug Purchased in small increments Released from plastic container Encarsia formosa Parasitic wasp used to control whitefly Pupae adhered to card and releases into canopy once pupates into adult

26 BCAs Used at the PCF – Cont. Orius spp Minute pirate bug predates on thrips Produce/rear our own supply of Orius spp Eggs laid on fresh bush bean pods Bean pods disseminated once eggs hatch nymphs Others Amblyseius (Typhlodromips) swirskii – Controls thrips and whitefly Phytoseiulus persimilis - Controls mites

27 Chemical Control of Pests Chemicals are Applied as Required to: Disinfect flats, pots, surfaces, etc. from pathogens Kill insects, mites, and diseases when above thresholds Decrease prey (pest) populations to allow BCAs to effectively work

28 BCA and Chemical Control Prior to starting a biological control program, ensure you have a supplier that can deliver/ship BCAs next- day Determine BCAs needed by prey, room environment, plant type and rotation List and procure chemicals that can be applied post- biological release in case prey populations increase Do not give up if immediate results are not observed

29 Thanks! Nathan A. Deppe University of Illinois PCF Coordinator 1201 S. Dorner Dr Urbana, Il Website: pcf.aces.illinois.edu Phone:


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