Category: News
Date published: May 15, 2024

Returning favourites and new innovations: Registration opens for Koppert’s Outdoor Experience Centre

The Outdoor Experience Centre, situated on a 100-hectare farm in Dronten, the Netherlands, has reopened for its second season. Here, Koppert's biological solutions work in harmony with conventional crop protection methods to produce healthy crops and robust yields. This season offers an opportunity to witness both new and familiar solutions firsthand, promising an immersive experience of Integrated Pest Management in action.

After a successful first season that drew some 300 visitors, the Outdoor Experience Centre is back. Frank Druyff, account manager at Koppert, gives a preview of this year’s solutions on display.

Returning favourites 

Koppert's beneficial nematodes, perhaps the biggest success story of the 2023 season, are set to make their return. Their target: the bean seed fly in maize and onions and the onion fly in onions. “Last year, our beneficial nematodes were especially effective in organically grown onions, in which they eradicated bean fly larvae in a matter of days,” says Frank. “These visible, tangible results contribute to the acceptance of beneficial insects as viable crop protection methods. Still, there is a learning curve to using beneficial insects, especially when compared to conventional insecticides. We are able to put the technical manual intro practice, show people how it works and answer their questions. This has proven instrumental to the adoption of these remarkable insects.”

The biofungicide Trianum is well on its way to becoming the new standard for the control of soil-borne diseases such as Pythium and Fusarium in carrots. Naturally, Trianum will play a significant role this upcoming season. Not just in carrots, but also in spinach and parsnips. Other returners this year are the Natupol bumblebees to optimise pollination performance. “We actively work to acquire registration extensions for these products so that they can be used in additional outdoor crops,” explains Frank. “With each extension, we expand our knowledge of specific disease-crop-product combinations. We look forward to sharing these insights with our visitors.”

New innovations 

In addition to the latest insights, the second season of the Outdoor Experience Centre promises new products. Demonstrations with Cerall, a seed dressing that protects seeds from becoming carriers of fungal diseases, will provide insights into the benefits of biological crop protection in cereal grains such as wheat. And during the sowing season, visitors will get a first look at Koppert's brand-new application method, a furrow sprayer specially designed to apply biological fungicides and pesticides in fields of any size. “From a precision point of view, this furrow sprayer is a step up from any technology currently on the market,” says Frank. “We are launching the furrow sprayer in partnership with an agricultural equipment company. This year, there will be just five machines in operation, one of which can be viewed in action at the Outdoor Experience Centre."

Fit for any growing system 

The Outdoor Experience Centre is located on the site of De Bruycker Agro, which uses Koppert's products to cultivate both conventional and organic crops. That makes it worth a visit for any grower, explains Frank. “The awareness that biological solutions fit into any crop production system, organic or conventional, is growing. When people visit the Outdoor Experience Centre, they see that it is not a matter of either or, but that an integrated system that combines biological and conventional solutions is both practical and highly effective.”

Visits by appointment 

The Outdoor Experience Centre can be visited by appointment from May through September. Last year, the Outdoor Experience Centre attracted professionals from throughout the sector such as growers, distributors, seed companies and food processing companies as well as policy makers. “The entire value chain was represented, which is exactly what we like to see,” says Frank. “We are prepared to answer any questions, whether technical or general. Surrounded by the crops our solutions protect, the power of our biological solutions truly comes to life.”

To visit the Outdoor Experience Centre, please schedule your appointment.