Koppert Biological Systems, has developed a gel formulation for its nematode range that will increase the shelf life of these highly effective biocontrol organisms, and ensure that no visible residue is left on the leaves or fruit of the crop. The product improvement and new packaging was launched at the International Floriculture Trade Fair in Vijfhuijzen on Wednesday.
After a long trajectory of research and development, the company is replacing its clay matrix (in which the nematodes remain in a dormant state until released) with a gel formulation which significantly lengthens the shelf life by a number of weeks (up to 16 weeks in some cases). ‘This is because nematodes use less energy during their hibernation in the gel formulation. When used on time, they are more energetic to do the job they were made for,’ Product Manager at Koppert, Tim Bossinga, explains.
Product launch at IFTF
Nematodes – microscopic worms that penetrate and kill a wide range of pest insects - are increasingly used for the biological control of vine weevils, sciarid flies, thrips, mushroom flies, shore flies, asparagus beetles, leatherjackets and a host of other pests. They are ideal for use in a growing number of important ornamental and food crops, as well as in public recreational areas, parks and sportsgrounds where chemical agents have been banned. ‘The launch of the gel formulation is an ideal moment to underline the importance of this product group within a successful integrated pest management system,’ says Bossinga. ‘The fair gives us the opportunity to tell growers about the benefits of nematodes and how to handle and prepare these beneficial organisms for the best results.’ The Koppert stand (C 1.08) at the IFTF will be manned by consultants who are ready to tell growers how to prepare the nematodes which are suspended in the gel formulation. ‘We have brought out a special flyer with ten ‘golden rules’ for preparing nematode products as the nematode product support and information has also been reviewed. Good reason to visit the Koppert stand!’ Bossinga adds.