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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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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Le jardin de Béa (Biot, France)

Beatrice Simeon is vegetable grower at Biot in the region of Nice (France). She grows various vegetable spedies in integrated production on 2 ha under protection. The production is sold directly at the farm or via AMAP (Association for the maintenance of peasant agriculture). For the control of aphids, Ms. Simeon uses VerdaProtect on her tomatoes, zucchini, beans and melons. “I chose to use VerdaProtect because I refuse any use of pesticide, in order to respect the environment and the health of workers and consumers,” says Mrs. Simeon. She adds: “I was quickly convinced by the product. Introduced preventively, it offers a remarkable efficiency in the control of the various aphid species that I encounter on my farm. For its ease of use, VerdaProtect also makes

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Meffre Plant: VerdaProtect for aphid control.

The company “Meffre Plants”, in Monteux (Southern France), products plants for the vegetable sector for many years. Coming from a family of vegetable growers, they apply the most advanced techniques to meet the demands of their customers: the use of anti-insect nets, grafting, computer-aided management and the use of a mix of parasitoids against aphids. The company manages pests extremely carefully: “We produce plants for the conventional and for the organic sector and we must deliver plants responding to customers’ requirements” explains Thierry Meffre. “Used for many years in our greenhouses, the cocktail of parasitoids, VerdaProtect offers a good protection against the various aphids that can be observed on the farm. It easily fits into our strategy to fight against pests and its ease of use allows us to focus on other important issues.”

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LWG Bamberg

The unit for Vegetable Horticulture at the LWG Bamberg (Germany) applies biological plant protection in different strategies:  (a) preventively in a conventional setting and (b) only biological in an organic context. The conventional vegetable growing has the possibility for a chemical curative correction, in case this should be necessary. The objective, however, is a pesticide-free strategy if possible. In this conventional strategy, VerdaProtect has been used preventively in three sets of cucumbers (Proloog,  Greenfit/ Bornand, Bornand/Proloog).

In the organic part, guidelines from ‘Naturland’, an Association for Organic Agriculture promoting organic agriculture, are applied. Chemical crop protection is strictly forbidden. In this setting, VerdaProtect has been used in tomatoes and beans. Peter Gäcklein, managing the vegetable crops within this research station, and the responsible engineer for the conventional trials, Martin Schulz, summarised: “During the entire crop cycle from January until mid-October, aphids have not been an issue at all. We could find some cotton aphids beginning of July in the organic part, but those have been controlled immediately. We will continue to use VerdaProtect  in our greenhouses.”

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Mr Albert Bernard – Organic vegetable grower

Mr Bernard grows organic vegetables in Louvil (Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France). In 2012, he tested VerdaProtect in his tunnels of eggplants, tomatoes and peppers. Throughout the season (May to October), several species of aphids appeared such as peach potato aphid (Myzus persicae), foxglove aphid (Aulacorthum solani) or potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), and they were all perfectly controlled. After this first season of use, Mr. Bernard said: “I am very satisfied with the effectiveness of VerdaProtect. Especially in eggplants, I saw a difference compared to previous years, when aphids reduced yield and obliged me to wash the fruits. VerdaProtect is very easy to use and really convinced me. “

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Bernd Tönneßen – Organic grower

The organic grower Bernd Tönneßen (member of the Bioland association) in Bornheim, Germany, used VerdaProtect in 2011 in a tunnel culture of sweet pepper. During the entire crop season (April through September) and even at temperatures reaching 42 °C, all occuring aphids were reliably controlled.

A comparative strategy with commonly used beneficials was equally able to control the aphid populations, the deployment required however a substantially higher expenditure on labor (installation and crop monitoring).

Retrospectively on the season Mr. Tönneßen says: „VerdaProtect is the means of choice, it is easy and fast in application, my crop is well armed against aphids, and I have to invest less – in terms of money and time. Without any doubt, I will use this concept in the future for the protection of my crops.”

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