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Trial and error...

May 6, 2020

By John Wood, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager, CA South Central Valley

In the world of agriculture, don’t we sometimes feel as though we are living by that old adage, “always a student, never a master”? We’re constantly learning through the experience that each season provides us, and trial and error proves to be a prominent teacher on our farms. What works one year might not work under the following year’s growing conditions.

This doesn’t even take into account the number of solutions that we have out there in the marketplace. The seed we use, equipment we employ and even what products we use to fertilize and protect our crops bring variables and options that are taken into account.

How do you make the best decisions to optimize healthy production on your farms? And, in the same vein, how do PCAs and even our Certis Biologicals'  sales teams make the best recommendations to solve for the varying challenges when it comes to what products you should use?

We combine our years of experience, the brain trusts we have around us, the qualitative and quantitative experience as well as data that we have to guide us to the best-informed decision. 

One of the things that I find most useful in helping to inform our decision-making is the mounds and mounds of field trial data that our field scientists produce every season. This data and experience is gained by collaborating with growers, other scientists, our sales team and university extension officials that test our products. Our products are tested across a number of crops and under varying conditions, which gives us perspective into how and where the products are most successful.

One of the products that I’ve been recommending a lot lately to our California tree nut growers, and it’s always high on my list anyway, is Certis Biologicals' Seduce®. Seduce® is a spinosad bait that attracts and kills ants, earwigs and cutworms.

Seduce® is an OMRI Listed® insecticidal bait that boasts a number of benefits for growers when incorporated into their IPM program. First, it’s made up of highly compressed granules that are easy to apply.

Second, and most importantly, Seduce® just works. 

I thought that I might share some of the trial data that helps to affirm my confidence in recommending Seduce®.  

Take, for example, a study on Seduce’s efficacy on the argentine ant (Linepithema humile). This study showed a nearly 30 percent mortality of argentine ants just a couple of hours after its application. Mortality rates for ants in this study increased steadily until they reached 100 percent mortality only 4 days after application.

In a California trial, scientists counted the mean number of argentine ants at their bait station and found that after one day, Seduce® had reduced the number of ants to 1 ant/bait station compared to the 15 ants/bait station found in the untreated site. 

Seduce® is OMRI Listed®, features a 4-hr REI and has proven to be effective in controlling yield-robbing pests in our orchards.

We make every effort to gather supportive data through both field trials and in-field use experience – which results in us understanding how, when, where and on what our products will be successful. The data shown above is an example of how we reinforce any claims that we share regarding proven results. This gives me peace of mind in recommending them to you and should help you feel better about trusting Certis Biologicals' with the protection of your crops.

As always, if you have questions about this data or similar studies on our products, you can always reach out to me at

If you are interested in how to incorporate Seduce® into your IPM, give me a call or talk to your PCA today. 

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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