Koppert partners with European growers to demonstrate biocontrol solutions for outdoor crops
For more than 50 years, we have been working with and for growers. We develop natural solutions that address their needs and challenges and conduct extensive testing in the lab and in the field. This coming season, growers around Europe are putting our products into practice. With the support of our dedicated Agri team, they are ready to experience the benefits of our proven solutions for outdoor crops.
During the 2023 season, growers in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain will control pests and diseases and driving crop performance with Koppert's biological solutions. “We have the solutions to help growers produce crops safely and sustainably, all while improving the health, quality and productivity of their crops,” says Felipe Mendonça, Market Development Manager at Koppert. “To demonstrate the added value of biological solutions for crop protection, we conduct trials all over the world.”
The European pilots follow an extensive trialling period in Brazil, the world's largest agricultural market. There, the adoption of biological solutions continues to grow rapidly as a result of the diminishing effectiveness of chemical products. Felipe was part of the team that organised the trials in Brazil. Now, he and his colleagues are extending the trials to Europe.
ROI of biocontrol solutions
“In preparation, we have been spending time with growers in Europe's biggest agricultural markets," says Felipe. “Our goal is to understand their challenges, offer solutions and add value. We work with growers to add our products to their Integrated Pest Management system, starting with just a single hectare, and measure the results. By gaining insight into their return on investment, growers gain confidence in the potential of our solutions. They also experience first-hand that biocontrol solutions are easy to apply.”
Beneficial fungicides, beneficial nematodes and biostimulants
Participating growers are testing a variety of solutions this season. To control soil diseases such as Pythium spp and Rhizoctonia spp in a wide range of crops, Trianum-G and Trianum-P (Trichoderma harzianum) are used. Beneficial nematodes – live organisms that actively hunt their prey – are applied directly to plants to control pests like the codling moth, onion fly and wireworms. And to drive plant health and resilience, biostimulants are added to growers’ existing methods. The products are applied to a wide range of outdoor crops. Specific attention is paid to local challenges, such as powdery mildew in grapes, aphids in stone fruits and the European corn borer in maize. Felipe: “Growers face different challenges, and it is our goal to provide targeted solutions for each of those challenges.”
The role of protocols
Protocols play an important role in the trials, explains Felipe. “We provide protocols for every product combination, including the formulation and application instructions tailored to their operation and machinery.” The protocols also include a template for recording the results and calculating the return on investment. “Ultimately, growers have a business to run and need to know that our products are a good investment.’
During and at the end of the season, the Koppert team conducts follow-up visits. “We are interested in not just the outcome, but also in the process. We want to make growers’ lives better and easier. We rely on their feedback to improve our application methods and ensure that our products are easy to use. At the same time, we use the insights from the trials to improve our formulations and in turn optimise the effectiveness of our products. We are only satisfied when growers are satisfied.”
We look forward to sharing the results of the European trials later this year. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our Outdoor Experience Centre to learn about biocontrol solutions for outdoor crops and experience the benefits and practical implications first-hand. Plan your visit here.