Labor and Harvest Flexibility
Agricultural managers list labor availability and the coordinated timing of harvest as critical operational variables related to profitability. Many times these factors collide due to uncooperative seasonal weather. Biopesticides provide important management tools that provide increased control and flexibility at harvest.
Qualities shared by most biopesticides provide growers with more options to maximize their labor force and optimize harvest times. For starters, most biopesticides have short worker Restricted Entry Intervals (REIs), allowing workers to safely return to the fields with minimum delay after treatment. This provides for more timely diagnosis and response to other crop conditions and subsequent crop input applications. Biopesticides with short Pre-Harvest Intervals (PHIs) allow harvest and shipping schedules to be better maintained after required pesticide applications.
Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs), can provide harvest flexibility in a different way. Some PGRs inhibit the biosynthesis of ethylene in plants. As a natural plant hormone involved in fruit maturation, ripening and abscission, ethylene is a key contributor in a crop’s “readiness” for harvest. So, ethylene inhibitors can help growers with harvest scheduling as well as the maintenance of fruit quality during storage.