Fruits and Vegetables

Qalcova™ Active Stands Alone for Organic Pest Control

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Farmers take a lot of pride in the work they do. From growing bountiful crops that help feed the world to being good stewards of the land, all while battling the everyday challenges of farming. Qalcova™ active gives farmers an important tool for managing pests when growing certified-organic produce. By adding products containing Qalcova to their pest management programs, American growers have had success keeping pests at bay while producing healthy, beautiful fruits and vegetables to meet consumer demands. Success stories from these two American farmers show how using products that contain Qalcova helps them effectively control pests to meet the public’s produce needs while being mindful of the environment.

Protecting the popular Honeycrisp apple in Washington State

Honeycrisp apples have become popular among American and European consumers (who call them Honeycrunch) over the last 15 or so years. Sweet and crisp—as the name implies—these qualities have made them one of the most popular apples grown in the U.S. Mike Van Horn, Owner of Kahala Farms in Tieton, Washington, knows that the climate in his part of the country is well-suited to growing Honeycrisp and other apples, along with pears and cherries, on his 150-acre organic farm. “We can produce some of the best fruit in the world,” he says.

And it’s important to Van Horn to be able to produce fruit organically. The codling moth, which attacks apples and pears, has been the most challenging pest for Van Horn to manage organically. He’s not alone—codling moth limits organic apple and pear production worldwide. A codling moth larva is, quite literally, the worm in the apple. The damage larvae leave behind means valuable Honeycrisp apples can’t be sold. A severe codling moth issue could even cause a grower to abandon the potential for greater income through organic status in order to use conventional pest control strategies to salvage a marketable crop.

That’s why Van Horn is so thankful for Entrust™ SC Naturalyte® insect control with Qalcova™ active. He’s been using it at Kahala Farms for nearly five years to control codling moth larvae. He calls it “the strongest tool in the organic grower’s toolbox.” Van Horn uses Entrust SC with Qalcova as part of an integrated pest management program that includes pheromone mating disruption, traps, phenology models, preservation of beneficial insects and use of granulosis virus and horticultural oil. Without it, he fears he would not be able to continue producing in alignment with organic standards.


At Kahala Farms in Washington state, a product containing Qalcova™ active helps protect Honeycrisp apples from codling moth larvae.

Being able to grow his Honeycrisp apples organically is important to Van Horn, both for sustainability and his business. “Organic certification allows us the opportunity to produce crops with a higher value than conventionally grown crops,” he says. “For a small operation like ours, this is very attractive.”

Van Horn also appreciates that Qalcova has a natural origin and is approved for organic growing. “I like the idea that the production footprint may be smaller and more sustainable,” he says.

He also likes the fact that it has a favorable profile for the environment and consumers, including his own family. He says, “My home is surrounded by the crops I grow. I wouldn’t dream of doing something that I felt would harm my family, the land or the consumer.”

Protecting the diversity of organic farming in Arizona

Chase Tew, Production Manager at Little Devil Farms in Yuma, Arizona, loves farming in his area of the American Southwest. “There’s no other place like Yuma that can grow diverse crops throughout the year,” he says. “The industry and community love for agriculture make this a special place to farm."

Tew is a first-generation farmer, and he’s passionate about what he does. What he likes about farming is that it’s “a new challenge every day to feed the world. This motivates me daily.” And he’s up to the challenge. The farm has 4,800 acres of organic vegetables, wheat, Sudan grass, cotton, okra and watermelons.

But farming these diverse crops comes with a variety of challenges. Tew faces pest pressure from Western flower thrips, aphids, armyworms and more, with each pest causing its own kind of damage. For example, thrips cause impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) in lettuce, which can lead to significant crop losses. Other pests cause cosmetic damage to vegetables, which can make them unmarketable. Just a single instance of pests like these in harvested produce can lead to rejection of the crop and diminished consumer trust. Tew refers to this as the “product paradox,” a term he learned from Dr. John Palumbo, an entomologist at the University of Arizona Extension.

Tew started using products with Qalcova™ active more than 10 years ago. He likes that Qalcova is approved for organic production. And he says it’s the most effective tool for controlling thrips in an organic environment. “Qalcova is the best option for us on our organic crops. There really isn’t anything else like it,” he says.

With a variety of insects to combat among his many crops, Tew says insecticides like those with Qalcova active are necessary to running a productive organic farm. “The fact is, we can’t produce high-quality products without the proper pesticides.” But he wants people to understand that his farm’s use of these products is careful and judicious. “We aren’t just spraying fields to kill everything it touches. We are very specific on the insect we are aiming to target, and striving to be a sustainable system for generations to come.”

That makes Qalcova an important tool for Tew’s farm. “It keeps our crops healthy and free of pests,” he says, allowing him “to be able to harvest and put fresh vegetables on the public’s table to eat.” Which means he can do what he loves: help feed the world.

Despite different crops and vastly different growing environments, both of these U.S. farmers rely on products with Qalcova to help them manage pests on their organic farms. It gives them options for reliably and sustainably controlling pests on their organic farms in order to provide consumers with the healthy—and beautiful—produce they want.

Learn more about Qalcova active

Entrust™ SC is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions.