Russian company Yug-Agro started using biological crop protection four years ago. The company tried several suppliers, before settling on Koppert Russia. This successful partnership is reflected in the reduced use of chemical agents and in the many satisfied customers that praise Yug-Agro for its beautiful cut roses.
Alexei Vinogradov works as assistant head agronomist at LLC Yug-Agro. The company is located in the region of Krasnodar in the south of European Russia. The company grows cut roses on 16 hectares of land. Yug-Agro sells its products to wholesalers and uses a network of sales offices.
The only alternative
Yug-Agro switched to biological crop protection four years ago for several reasons. 'First of all, we wanted to reduce our use of chemicals because they slowed growth and production,' explains Vinogradov. 'Chemical agents also lose their effectiveness due to resistance, and their manufacturers can't provide alternative products quickly enough. Pests can never develop resistance against their natural enemies, which makes beneficials the only alternative to chemicals.'
A good strategy
Mastering biological crop protection is hard work, and success depends on a number of factors, according to Vinogradov. 'It's crucial to find high-quality beneficials that are delivered on time. Lots of companies want to sell us products, but many of them don't have the quality we demand.'
Yug-Agro tested several suppliers over a long period to determine the quality of the beneficials and the reliability of the delivery times. The company ultimately settled on Koppert Russia.
Scouting is another critical factor. 'It's extremely important for success. If you can't monitor the pests and the beneficials, biological crop protection is impossible. Another equally important factor is developing and implementing a good strategy.'
Very satisfied customers
The expertise provided by Alexander Dodonov of Koppert Russia is another contributing factor. Dodonov serves as the primary contact for Yug-Agro for any questions or challenges the company may have. Thrips is a tricky opponent. Yug-Agro uses the predatory mite Amblyseius swirski (Swirski-Mite) and Neoseiulus cucumeris (Thripex) to combat thrips and keep them at acceptable levels.
Biological crop protection is important to Yug-Agro. 'It has helped us reduce the amount of chemicals we use,' says Vinogradov, 'and produce roses that make our customers extremely happy.'