Welcome to the BioWorks Bulletin -- February 2014
Happy Valentines Day! Show your loved ones you care... including your plants! 
Give them the attention they deserve this season. Protect them from the bad guys (diseases and insects), and give them the nutrition they need to grow into beautiful, healthy, resilient plants.  
Considering Organic-based Fertilizers
By Ron Shepard, Sales

Grower interest in providing crop nutrients from organic sources is on the rise in both horticulture and agriculture production. As a society, we have become more aware of the impact our actions can have on the environment and our health. Many growers would like to soften their environmental impact, and deliver a crop that is healthier for human consumption. In fact, the biggest interest for organic-based fertilizers comes from growers of edible crops.


At BioWorks, we have always looked for ways to create a better environment by providing effective alternatives to chemical products. 
Verdanta logo
BioWorks' Verdanta® organic based fertilizers rely on a combination of temperature, moisture, and microbial activity to release nutrients, so they will not burn plant roots or be leached away by water as easily. This provides a safer growing environment for your crop and a more efficient use of nutrition.

Research by Kansas State University found that organically fertilized greens have much lower nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in the leaf cells than those produced with inorganic fertilizers which are high in nitrate. The health benefit of less nitrate-nitrogen may be more important than the slightly higher yield growers experience using inorganic fertilizers.


Advantages of organic-based fertilizers to growers

First, it is much harder to over-feed your plants with organic sources, since only the nutrients that have been released by microbial activity are available to the plants. Secondly, nutrients cannot be washed away like water soluble fertilizers can be. You can only leach away the nutrients that have been made available. Those that have not been released are still there to be used later. Finally, plants get a more even distribution of nutrients over a longer term with organic-based fertilizers. 


Conversely, many synthetic fertilizers tend to have their nutrients available all at once. When the nutrients are not readily taken up by the plants, they leach out of the soil and quite possibly into waterways. Control release, coated, synthetic fertilizers regulate their release to minimize the risk of leaching and increase efficiency of nutrient usage, but high temperatures may cause them to "dump", increasing salt levels of media which can damage and burn your crop.


N-P-K values and beyond

When comparing organic fertilizers with synthetic fertilizers, you must consider that they are managed differently. Many growers just look at N-P-K levels and ratios when comparing fertilizers; however, if you are considering an organic-based fertilizer, this will not give you all the answers you need. The form of nitrogen in the fertilizer is important too.


In our studies at BioWorks (supported by independent third party trials), tomato and pepper transplants, at times, require less than 50% of the nitrogen from Verdanta® organic-based fertilizers, when compared to industry standard nitrate-nitrogen based fertilizers. In other trials, growers benefited by incorporating Verdanta GM-2 into potting mixes for bedding plants prior to planting, which allowed them to reduce or eliminate the need for liquid fertilizer applications. This results in cost savings in labor as well as fertilizers. So, be sure to remember that there are a lot of things to consider beyond N-P-K values to get the benefits of organic fertilizer.


Click here for more information on Verdanta organic-based fertilizers from BioWorks.

Pest Monitoring and Sticky Traps

Routine pest monitoring is crucial for insect management.  Your crop is too valuable to overlook this need.  One simple, inexpensive tool that can help in your IPM program, are sticky cards for insect monitoring. These cards are best used for early 

Greenhouse whitefly

detection and management of flying insects in greenhouses. Start as soon as new plants and cuttings arrive before the pest population rises.  Regularly check the sticky traps, and keep a record of the insect levels so you can determine the best method of control. 


Yellow or Blue? Yellow traps are most commonly used, and are effective in monitoring whiteflies and fungus gnats.  However, 

Sticky cards

most studies show that blue traps are better at capturing western flower thrips and shore flies.


BioWorks offers unique double-sided sticky cards to give you broader use of insect sticky traps. Click here for details.


More information on pest monitoring can e found in this article from GrowerTalks: Pest Monitoring and Maximizing the Use of Beneficial Insects.


Other helpful information:

Sticky Trap Fact Sheet (Ohio State University Extension)

Upcoming Events
February 16-18
San Jose, CA
(BioWorks is a proud sponsor of this event.)
Industry Articles 
BioWorks Videos 
Find out about the exclusive technology behind Verdanta granular fertilizers.
Learn about these unique products that deliver long-lasting nutrients to your plants, enhancing the soil surrounding their roots.

How likely are you to recommend BioWorks? Take our 2 question survey. Your feedback will help us offer you the best customer service experience.

One grower's comments: 

"After incorporating RootShield in our cucumber crop, we saw increased root mass, more fine roots, and no root disease issues. Overall plant health and longevity improved. Our English cucumber yield increased 10%. RootShield has turned my production completely around."


Dave Haagopian, Gromax
(Featured in the photo at the top of this newsletter.)


Learn more about the industry and how our products provide environmentally friendly, effective solutions for professional growers worldwide. 

BioWorks Inc, P: 800.877.9443   F: 800-903-2377
100 Rawson Rd. Suite 205  Victor, NY 14564


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our videos on YouTube   View our profile on LinkedIn