Koppert’s biological solutions help improve crop health and resilience and protect against diseases and pests. The use of natural enemies, such as parasitic wasps, differs from the use of conventional crop protection products. In greenhouses, the use of our beneficial insects has a history of over 50 years. Greenhouses provide a safe and controlled environment for insects and mites to hunt their prey. But natural enemies are also highly effective in combatting pests in outdoor crops, offering a viable and safe alternative to chemical solutions. In recent years, more and more growers have taken the plunge.
Successful biological control of thrips, mealybugs and spider mites
“While horticulture and agriculture are very different, our approach remains the same: we work to understand growers’ challenges and provide them with solutions,” says Jenette Douma, product manager at Koppert. “Testing plays an important role in our approach. we test our solutions in demo fields, then we partner with growers to apply our products in their fields. The results are convincing. Consequently, we are continuing to expand our portfolio of natural enemies for agricultural use.”
Research and development
The testing and development of several other solutions is still ongoing. “We have developed a new and more cost-effective way to produce and package a type of beetle, a natural enemy of armoured scales in citrus. The result is a product that is both affordable and easy to use,” explains Jenette. “Our next step is to conduct trials in other crops, such as grapes in Italy, France and Spain. We are also exploring new application methods for predatory mites against spider mites in potatoes, and we are working on solutions against aphids in, for example, apple trees.”
For growers who are transitioning to biological crop protection, Koppert offers advice and support from storage to application. This includes a review of the grower’s Integrated Pest Management system and the presence of chemical pesticides that may be harmful to natural enemies. By engaging with growers, Koppert aims to offer even more natural alternatives in the future. Jenette: “We do this in partnership with our subsidiaries, who have close relationships with growers. We are also connecting with partners in the value chain. Authorities are increasingly banning the use of chemical products in agriculture, which presents numerous challenges for growers. We want to be part of the solution.”