I have an organic farm in Oklahoma. 1500 plants. Last year we had russet mites really bad. I dumped the soil and let it compost all winter. It’s back in the pots and ready for planting. However, I know there are mite eggs out there. What should I do to knock these guys down now? They ruined 75% of the crop last year.
We are organic. We don’t use living soil, but it’s pretty close. I thought about spraying the entire grow area (1 acre) with Pyrethrin. Would there be a better organic insecticide? Would pyrethrin hurt the microbes in the soil? The good microbes?
If there is a better way to “sterilize” the area, I’m open.
FYI: One of the major pests in Oklahoma is the Corn Earworm (aka corn borer). If you’ve shucked an ear of sweet corn and found a tunnel thru the corn, that’s the culprit. These guys attack flower as well. They eat a hole thru the center, pooping their way thru with bud rot following.
Since we are organic, we tried BT. No effect. Turns out Monsanto created strains of field corn the exude BT. Which is good for corn, but made the corn ear worms immune to BT.
Anyway, the hack is, if you are organic in OK, don’t use BT. We use Spinosads up to a month before harvest. Spinosads deteriorates in UV, so this pesticide is gone when it’s ready for harvest.