What is Pyganic and why do we use it? As a certified organic farm practicing many sustainable agricultural practices throughout our season, we are committed to nurturing the delicate balance and respecting the beneficial insects while trying to ward off the ones we call pests.
Pyganic is organic pyrethrum oil derived from the chrysanthemum flowers. This product has no petroleum distillates and is all botanically derived active ingredients. Pyganic is lightly sprayed onto the vegetables for a rapid knockdown of the pests, mainly the black flea beetle and the cucumber beetle that dramatically devour our brassicas. This oil that is refined to organic standards degrades rapidly when exposed to sunlight and has a very low impact on the environment. When effective, it has a ph of 5.5-7.0.
For many years in our Carnation Valley, there has been no need to spray because our white row cover, barrier method in conjunction with crop diversity was historically enough protection. Over the years, and as many organic farms have come alive in the valley and growing similar crops, the bug problem has increased rapidly.
Spring into early summer seems to be the worst for our farm, and we will use Pyganic spray for a very short window to strike that delicate balance. Now you may ask, does it kill the beneficial insects? In order to make sure the good bugs are protected, we will only spray in the early morning when the honeybees are not as active, but when the flea beetles are very active. We will also release over 18,000 ladybugs one to two days after spraying to give their population the upper hand. This also guarantees for a nice crackdown on the aphids as ladybugs love to eat aphids.
We also release Green Lace Wing eggs and as they hatch and have a huge appetite for aphids and other soft body insects, we infuse our fields with lots of amazing life. Throughout the hot summer as the beetle populations die down and then when cooler fall temperatures take hold, we rarely need to spray. It is only in these few weeks that you will see Randy our mechanical genius out early at 5am spraying and then everyone gets in on the ladybug release action!!
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