Mighty mite breeder sets up shop in Klamath Falls

| Print |  Email
Monday, October 01, 2007

KLAMATH FALLS Spider mites can wreak havoc on crops, wiping out millions of dollars in agricultural income one tiny bite at a time.

Which is why Skip Maltby, a former aerospace engineer from Southern California, got into the predator-mite business.  

“They’re really green and they’re more effective than pesticides,” Maltby says of the seven varieties of predator mites — all with a voracious appetite for spider mites — that he raises in greenhouses and sells by the shaker-full to farmers.

Problem was, because the predator mite breeding brothel needed to be kept at a balmy 90 degrees at all times, Maltby was getting stuck with sky-high propane bills.

Enter Tracy Liskey. The Klamath Falls-area farmer was already leasing out his geothermal well-heated greenhouses to other entrepreneurs (one fine-tuning a biodiesel still, the other tending  pools of tropical fish). A cheap, 90-degree greenhouse was no sweat at Liskey Farms.

“The Climate Trust had never worked with something so unique.”

TREY SENN
KLAMATH COUNTY ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION

So when Maltby started poking around for the cash he needed to start a Klamath operation, he met Trey Senn, executive director of the Klamath County Economic Development Association, who was carefully tending his Sustainable Klamath project — a push to market the region as the place to do green business. He saw potential in Maltby’s company, Biotactics, and quickly got him in touch with The Climate Trust.

The Portland-based Climate Trust, a nonprofit battling global warming, had money to invest in emissions-reduction projects. They crunched the numbers and figured Biotactics’ use of geothermal energy would keep 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

The trust wrote the first check for $130,000, and other agencies ponied up. Maltby, his move-in costs covered, is busily breeding.

CHRISTINA WILLIAMS


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Closing the Gap: The two Oregons and the way forward

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

"Nostalgia is not an economic strategy."


Read more...

Light Moves

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Fittingly, Light at Play — a business whose sole purpose is to create mesmerizing ambience — was conceived at Burning Man.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president, plus an abridged Powerlist for the best commercial real estate firms.


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

News
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


Read more...

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS