Farmcare Ltd (Blairgowrie, Scotland)

Farmcare Ltd’s Blairgowrie farm is specialized in the production of soft fruits. Mark Hilditch is its technical manager. He started to use FresaProtect in 2012. The trial he did gave good results and he extended the surface protected by FresaProtect each year to reach 12 ha in 2014. “The key for a successful aphid control is to introduce FresaProtect in a preventive way” says Mark. “In this condition, FresaProtect really gives an excellent control of the aphids. The mix of several parasitoid species allows keeping every aphid species under control. The use of FresaProtect also allows me to avoid using insecticides against aphids which preserves the other introduced beneficials (the predatory mites for instance) and increases the presence of naturally occurring natural enemies (hoverfly larvae, lacewings…) resulting in a very good global pest control. I am really pleased with the results of FreasaProtect and I will continue to use it in the future.” concludes Mark.

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BerryProtect on Raspberries in Finland

Mr. Jari Vilppula grows Raspberries on 2 ha under plastic tunnels in Asikkala (Finland). “My father started strawberry farming in 1972, and nowadays the farm has passed on to my brother and me. We have specialized in growing strawberries and raspberries. The freshness and the quality control throughout the whole chain of production, from the field to the consumer, is the most important thing to us”, states Mr. Vilppula.
In order to insure the sustainability of his production, Mr. Vilppula opted for an integrated pest management strategy. For the control of aphids, he uses BerryProtect. Jari explains: “BerryProtect is an excellent solution for aphid control in raspberries. It controls all the aphid species found on the farm. Because the canopy of the crop can be very dense, it is very difficult to spray with an insecticide. On the contrary, the parasitic wasps can reach the aphids on any part of the plant. Using parasitoids for aphid control, hence not using insecticide, also allows me to safely use other beneficials for other pests improving the global biological equilibrium in the crop. Furthermore, with BerryProtect, residues and harvest interval are no longer a concern.  No doubt that BerryProtect will become the base of my aphid control strategy.”

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BIOLOGICAL CROP PROTECTION AGAINST APHIDS AT AMIKOS BV

Amikos BV, based in Bergschenhoek (South Holland, Netherlands), specialises in the production of sweet peppers and mini cucumbers. In its 4-hectare glasshouse, production is organised according to the principles of integrated crop protection and the use of chemicals is strictly confined to local interventions in a few places where biological control is insufficient. “To control aphids, we use VerdaProtect,” says Khira Shanta, crop manager at Amikos BV. “The mix of beneficial insects is highly effective at controlling all of the species of aphid we come across in our glasshouses. Used preventively, it keeps aphids permanently below the damage threshold and fruits are twice as clean: free of honeydew and free of chemical insecticide residues. It is clear that we will continue to use VerdaProtect in the future.”

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Southesk Farm (Scotland)

Southesk Farm is a soft fruit farm situated in Brechin (Scotland), growing strawberries and blueberries for the Angus Growers group. It applies the principles of IPM (integrated pest management) to all its crops. Crop production manager James Grantham uses BerryProtect to control aphids in the blueberries. “The mix of parasitoids is very efficient at controlling aphids in the blueberries,” says James. “There are only a few insecticides available for blueberries. Especially at the end of the season, when the canopy is extremely dense, it is difficult to spray all of the leaves with insecticides. In these conditions, parasitic wasps are the only way to reach all the aphids. By reducing the need for chemical insecticides, BerryProtect also preserves the other beneficials active in the crop. The product is easy to use and, with some precautions, can be easily combined with conventional products. And, of course, BerryProtect leaves no residue”. James concludes: “A useful product within an IPM programme in blueberries”.

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Susanne Früh, crop advisor at “Obstgroßmarkt Mittelbaden” (Germany)

Susanne Früh, crop advisor at the producers’ association “Obstgroβmarkt Mittelbaden” in Oberkirch (Germany), grows raspberries and blackberries for variety tests in tunnels. Pests are controlled with as less pesticides as possible. The application of pesticides in the tight vegetation being very difficult, Mrs Früh chooses to use beneficial insects, as they can find and fight the pests even in these dense berry crops. Particularly aphid control has been a major problem in raspberries and blackberries in tunnels. Since BerryProtect is available, Mrs Früh uses this parasitoid mix with good results: ”It is a very well thought concept – from the composition of the different parasitoid species for controlling all aphids in berry crops to the design of the tubes for easy application. And I am glad that I participated with my comments in the development of the release stations: the entire system is really optimal and – most important – user friendly.”

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Biohof Bursch (Bornheim, Germany)

Biohof Bursch (Bornheim, Germany) grows 60 different varieties of fruit and vegetable on 45 hectares. The family business with 35 employees is member at Demeter, and organic farming has been implemented already in the early 60s. This know-how of more than 50 years is also applied in aphid control, especially in vegetable crops grown in tunnels. Orjan, responsible for the protected crops since many years, uses since several seasons VerdaProtect: ”Since this mix of parasitoids is available, aphid control has become so much easier. Before, it has been extremely difficult to avoid yield losses due to aphids – especially in cucumber. VerdaProtect gives excellent results, the application is easy and fast – in summary, I can only recommend using it.”

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Johannes Dick, Bornheim (Germany)

Johannes Dick in Bornheim (Germany) produces pot herbs. The company has been using BasilProtect for a number of years, to control aphids in various greenhouse crops such as parsley, basil, mint and sage. Crop manager Andreas Birkheuser draws his conclusions: “Using this mix of six different aphid parasitoids facilitates aphid control immensely. It is quick and easy to apply, and the broad host range gives us huge security – without the need to identify aphids. Because pest control in herb growing is based on the use of beneficials as far as possible, BasilProtect is the perfect solution that offers us efficient aphid control with minimal time investment.”

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Ms. Krüger-Bartz, Straelen (Germany)

Ms. Krüger-Bartz grows strawberries in the region of Straelen (North Rhine Westphalia). In order to minimize the use of pesticides, the control of pests is based on the principles of integrated pest management. For aphid control in her strawberry production, Ms. Krüger-Bartz uses FresaProtect: “It’s already a long time that I use beneficials in my crops. Used in a preventive strategy, they keep pests at a low level, and that is only in exceptional cases that a chemical correction is needed. In strawberries, many species of aphids can be a problem. The combination of six different species of parasitoids in FresaProtect controls all these aphid species without having to identify them. I’m really satisfied with the efficacy of FresaProtect, including on the potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), which is more resistant to several insecticides. Obviously, I will continue to use FresaProtect in the future.”

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Tom Van Delm, PCH (Research station of Hoogstraten, Belgium)

PCH devotes a large part of its research to the strawberry crops. All aspects of this crop are examined. A major goal is to continuously improve the sustainability of the production of strawberries. Therefore, in respect to pest control, the PCH is resolutely turned towards IPM (Integrated pest management). Against aphids, the mix of parasitoids FresaProtect, is used in different production systems. “Strawberry growers know they must keep aphid populations under control and therefore make intervention in time. The concept of a mix of parasitoids is in this context an interesting tool because it can be introduced preventively in the crop. Furthermore, with the mix of parasitoids, it is not necessary to identify the aphids, which makes biological control easier for the grower” says Tom Van Delm. “A monitoring of aphid control is possible: by following the live aphids and mummies (parasitized aphids), we get a good assessment of the level of control. If it appears that the aphid population increases too quickly, despite the use of beneficials, it may be necessary to treat the pests chemically. In this case, the use of a compatible chemical insecticide is possible and/or new parasitoids may be reintroduced. It is also this flexibility, consistent with the philosophy of IPM, that I appreciate with the use of FresaProtect.” concludes Tom Van Delm.

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Ferdinand Jolly (Ittre, Belgium)

Mr. Jolly spends annually about 2 ha of its Farm to grow strawberries (full ground cultivation in tunnel). The total production is marketed through direct sales on the farm. To provide a safe product to its customers and in the context of a global environmental reflection on the farm, Mr. Jolly has opted for an integrated approach for crop protection. “Against aphids, I use the cocktail of parasitoids, FresaProtect. Since it is on the market, I used this product every year with satisfaction. It is very easy to implement and offers a very good control of various aphid species. The variety I grow, Lambada, is very popular among the public but it is also very susceptible to attack of aphids. Since I use FresaProtect, aphids are no longer a concern. It is obvious that I will continue to use FresaProtect in the future. “

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