Best Management Practices to maintain disease and pest-free plants by promoting healthy plants and a beneficial environment.
Take-Away Bullet Points:
1. Importance of plant sanitation and cultural practices as best management practices to maintain low disease and insect pressure.
2. Common and practical sanitation practices to reducing pathogen load and insect populations between or during crop cycles.
3. Cultural practices that can be detrimental to plant health or promote insects, such as broad-spectrum pesticides, over-fertilization, over/under irrigation, or poor soil drainage.
4. Soil fungi or bacteria that have proven efficacy in promoting healthy roots and ultimately plant health to increase resilience to plant disease.
Erfan Vafaie, PhD, is a dedicated entomologist who works closely with growers to understand and manage insects and pathogens in greenhouse and nursery crops. He is a sought-after trainer who has shared his expertise with growers, master gardeners, landscapers, and academics throughout the USA and Canada.
Erfan’s training topics have included integrated pest management in greenhouses, management of specific invasive or common insect pests, crop scouting strategies, how to develop effective biological control programs, and Texas Certified Clean Nursery training.
Previously, Erfan served as an Extension Program Specialist in IPM for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, where he focused on helping greenhouse, nursery, and ornamental growers with a combination of research and training. In his current role as Technical Services Manager for BioWorks Inc., he continues to support growers by providing guidance on pest management strategies, assists with selecting the right product for the job, and provides hands-on training to use products right.