‘Thanks to the use of biological crop protection, the flowers are bigger, the stems are thicker, and we produce more flowers per square metre. We are now producing roses of exceptional quality that our customers can enjoy for a long time.’ Marek Dzida, one of the most prominent rose growers in Poland, is very positive about biological crop protection.
Dzida started using biological crop protection in 2001. He recalls that the harmful effects of chemicals on the quality of the product was a deciding factor in making the transition. ‘We wanted the quality of our product to be consistent, so that the high demand for our roses would continue. We have managed to achieve that and have followed this path to this day.’
At the beginning, Dzida was focused on combating spider mites. 'The application of predatory mites allowed us to get the problem under control quickly, even though this approach required certain investments. We dedicated a great deal to educating ourselves and our employees about the life cycle of pests and their natural enemies. We wanted to fully understand their dynamics, so that we could use the beneficial organisms to their full potential. Our employees were initially quite puzzled about the new method, instead of spraying the crop they now had to release insects, however they quickly understood that this new way of working was to their own advantage and made their working environment safer.’
Customers recognize quality
Dzida is currently using the products Thripex, Spidex, Delphibug, En-Strip, Spical, and Macro-Mite. He prepares the pest control plans in collaboration with Koppert Poland’s consultant - Piotr Wójcik. This way the grower and the advisor can learn from each other's experience. ‘By working together with Koppert, we can use a large number of natural enemies, which significantly enhances the effectiveness of the biological crop protection.’
The advantages of pest control through the use of natural enemies are clear to Dzida. ‘The production conditions are better, production is more stable, the flowers are bigger, the stems are thicker, we are producing more flowers per square metre, and we can grow roses of the highest quality. Our clients recognize our roses among others as the best quality product. These factors together with a fast delivery, are the key to our success, and this is something that we are incredibly proud of.’
Marek Dzida works closely with Koppert Poland. ‘Extensive experience and the latest knowledge of biological crop protection are vital elements for success,’ he emphatically states. ‘Koppert Poland offers us exactly that, and it’s the reason why we continue to expand the collaboration. Thanks to the advice from Piotr Wójcik we are able to meet many challenges head-on.’
The leading Polish grower can hardly remember what it was like to use conventional chemical crop protection. ‘Biological crop protection creates a better working environment and leads to huge gains in the crop security, which is particularly important in making operations stable and predictable. Our customers are satisfied with our carefully protected flowers, as we're protecting their health too!’
About Marek Dzida: An innovative mindset
Marek Dzida's family has been involved with horticulture for four generations. He started out cultivating lilies, freesias, tulips, and gerberas but in 1994 he decided to focus on the cultivation of cut roses in a year-round cultivation system. His company, which uses Venlo greenhouses, currently spans across 30,000 square metres. The most important focus points that define the company policy are an innovative mindset, the high quality of the product, responsibility for the environment, and continuous investments in new technologies such as the recirculation of fertilizers, sprinkler irrigation systems, and state-of-the-art sorting lines. Another important aspect is their use of biological crop protection which Marek Dzida introduced in the company in 2001.