Surfing For Sources

June 14, 2006 - 14:40

Today’s Internet is a gateway to an endless supply of information, and while this can be very helpful, it can also be daunting. Which Web site has the most accurate information? Which is the easiest to maneuver? Which provides the best information needed for your situation? Chances are there is more than one Web site that will fulfill your needs.

Finding the easiest and most convenient experiences online is something that could take some time and searching. Therefore, we have compiled a list of some of the top-rated Web sites associated with chemical-related problems and their solutions. Endless Googling aside, these short reviews will help you know where to turn the next time you need pest and disease information.

Getting Personal Attention

Chemtura Corporation’s Web site, www.pgrx.info, went live in 2005 and provides growers with a unique resource for plant growth regulators — how to use them as well as how to determine optimum rates, plant responses, plant tolerance, modes of action and other helpful knowledge.

A very complete site, www.pgrx.info offers a great FAQs page, and the site highlight has an “Ask The Expert” section. When you click on this link, you have the opportunity to E-mail a question directly to Kevin Donovan, Chem-tura’s technical manager. Donovan and Chemtura promise to have a response to you within 48 hours. This personal attention assures you will get the right answer to your question instead of having to choose an answer from a preset list that may or may not apply to your situation.

Independent Information

Based on research conducted by GPN author and well-known pathologist Ann Chase, the Chase Research Gardens Web site, www.chaseresearchgardens.com, lists product evaluations, including the biological, chemical and physical aspects.

One feature that is unique to the Chase Research Gardens’ Web site is the extensive flash-card area. Though still under construction, the flash-card link provides full-color images diagnosing problems on ornamentals. The flash cards are divided into sets and sold on the site.

Chaseresearchgardens.com also features a lengthy list of articles divided alphabetically by topic. The articles are based on past research Chase has conducted and detail her chemical screenings research, with recommendations for most problems presented in an easy-to-use PDF format.

Videos On Demand

Syngenta Professional Products’ Web site, www.greencastonline.com, is one of the most comprehensive around. After becoming a member, you can actually tailor the site to fit your needs: It will display only the tools and resources relevant to your business.

Syngenta lays out a wealth of information with an extensive and easy-to-navigate library searchable by insect, weed or disease that provides a paragraph and information about each. Probably the best aspect to this Web site is the Lectures In Bloom library. This is a video archive of presentations from different Lectures In Bloom conferences Syngenta has held across the country. The presentations cover a range of pest-control topics given by leading researchers in their fields.

Finally, Syngenta provides articles on nearly anything you need to know about chemical-related problems and solutions, as well as a calculator for mixing rates, solution options and chemical costs. The site also has up-to-date weather and pest information maps that can be viewed on the Web site or sent to your E-mail address.

All The Basics

The OHP site (www.ohp.com) is a great basic resource with incredible ease of use, a body of informative text and a lot of subtopics. The site is especially useful when researching pests and pest solutions. It has a long list of insects, detailed explanations of each and how to get rid of them.

Ohp.com also features a downloadable version of its popular chemical class chart. It includes all currently registered insecticides, miticides, bacteriacides and fungicides with their active ingredients, trade names and rotation codes. This area of the Web site is helpful when putting together a rotation of chemicals because it focuses on the importance of resistance management and suggests some possible rotations.

A Complete Package

Valent USA offers one of the more straightforward Web sites. At first glance, www.valent.com may seem to have less information than other sites, but the information is all there, just laid out in a form with less bells and whistles. In fact, Valent’s may be one of the most complete Web sites on our list.

One of the most attractive parts of the site is something the company calls Valent University. At the Valent University section, you can learn more about topics such as weed and insect control, plant growth and other related subjects. Also of interest is the problem/solution area where you can find chemical solutions to common disease and insect problems.

One of the best parts of the site, though, is the links page. A seemingly endless number of links are divided into categories and then into sites with information on that category. The beauty of this section is that links are not listed by name but by topic, making it much easier to find the information you need.

Articles Galore

North Carolina State University has collected information from a number of locations at www.floricultureinfo.com. The site includes a plant growth regulator calculator that shows how much chemical to use for a particular crop and the application methods to apply it. The best part of the site, though, is a database of articles searchable by either crop or topic. Once searched, the database creates a list of articles displayed in PDF format.

If you want to quickly maneuver www.floricultureinfo.com, simply scroll to the bottom of the main page and take a look at the links to different areas of the site, including the index of insects and pests. This area provides information on different pests, including black and white pictures of each, but there is an additional link to an area where you can view several full-color photographs of the insects.

About The Author

Rich Lister is a freelance writer based in Chicago, Ill. He can be reached by E-mail at loki10@sbcglobal.net.

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