While plant parasitic nematodes are a common soil pest that affect plants, entomopathogenic nematodes play an important role in the biological control of many pests. Meet Frank Keijzer, the owner of a 57-hectare organic arable farm and is growing a wide variety of crops, including onions, carrots, sweetcorn, pumpkins, beans, soybeans, and spinach.
Facing the bean seed fly challenge
This year, Frank encountered a significant challenge due to the cold and wet conditions at the beginning of the crop cycle. Ideal conditions for bean seed seed fly. The bean seed fly (Delia platura) is a common pest that can cause significant damage to crops such as onion, radish, and cabbage.
Bean seed fly damages crops by laying their eggs near plant bases. Hatching larvae tunnel into the soil and feed on roots, stems, and hypocotyls, reducing water and nutrient uptake. This results in stunted growth, wilting, yellowing, disease susceptibility, seedling death, and reduced crop quality.
Capirel nematodes for bean seed fly
After discovering the first larvae of the bean seed fly, Frank decided to use Capirel. Integrated pest management, including the use of beneficial nematodes like Capirel, is key to controlling bean seed fly infestations and minimizing crop damage.
The beneficial nematodes proved to be effective, as the larvae disappeared within a few days after the treatment.
Beneficial nematodes control bean seed fly (Delia platura) by infecting the fly's larvae in the soil. When applied to the affected area, the nematodes actively seek out bean seed fly larvae. Once they locate a larva, the nematodes enter it through natural body openings or by piercing its cuticle. Inside the larva, the nematodes release symbiotic bacteria, which multiply and cause septicemia, ultimately killing the larva. This biological control method helps reduce the population of bean seed fly larvae in the soil, preventing further damage to crops and promoting sustainable pest management practices.
Benefits of Capirel nematodes
Frank highlights the benefits of using beneficial nematodes for pest control, emphasizing that it's a cost-effective solution that prevents the need for costly reseeding and saves growers from the frustration of replanting. He also stresses the importance of proper mixing and application, as Capirel contains living organisms and should be applied on moist soil and not under direct sunlight.