Ball FloraPlant Removes Neonics
Ball FloraPlant has announced its offshore cuttings farms did not use neonicotinoid-based pest management chemicals during its spring crop production last shipping season, and will continue to be neonic free this year. Instead, the company and its greenhouse managers have relied on alternative means to supply insect-free cuttings to its global customer base.
“Our farms moved toward eliminating neonicotinoid chemicals a few seasons ago, before it became a more mainstream issue. Our reasons were three-fold: Buildup of pest resistance, overall chemical expense and to reduce any toxic effects to the environment,” says Aart De Leeuw, production director for Ball FloraPlant. The offshore Ball FloraPlant facilities that have eliminated neonics in production are Floricultura (Guatemala) and Las Limas (Nicaragua). Ball FloraPlant partner Selecta (Uganda and Kenya) is also neonic free. The dedicated scouting teams at these farms work closely with management and they have one goal: delivering clean, quality cuttings.
“It’s all about reliability. There’s only one good number: zero,” says De Leeuw, about the Ball FloraPlant production approach. “By starting clean – with clean and clear buildup material – we are able to adhere to a zero-tolerance rule. Any insect sightings are dealt with immediately to remove old leaves and possible eggs from the stock, without the need for neonic chemicals.”
Additionally, Ball FloraPlant is supporting AmericanHort in its scientific research on pollinators and industry best practices. For more information, visit www.ballfloraplant.com.