Peppers – optimising quality the proven biological way
Roadmap to Sustainable Growing
Peppers (Capsicum spp) belong to the extensive Solanacae (nightshade) family and are cultivated in a similar way to their relatives, tomatoes and eggplants (aubergines). A perennial crop, peppers are cultivated as annuals. While over 20 species are recorded in the Capsicum genus, only five are cultivated and are mostly chillies. All sweet peppers belong to the species Capsicum annuum.
Biological products are the way forward and, as such, have become an essential component in the cultivation of sustainable, quality pepper crops worldwide.
Our skilled technical advisors are here to help you get the most from your pollination strategies and integrated pest management (IPM) programmes, tailoring them to the specific needs of your crop. We set out to deliver the best possible return on investment.
Our team will help you:
- optimise crop quality, yield and cost-effectiveness
- comply with strict regulations
- meet consumer demands for residue-free crops
- provide long term sustainable solutions
- prevent pests and diseases building up resistance to the limited range of chemical crop protection products available.
Ultimately this delivers benefits, including:
- higher value crops – premium products
- greater range of market opportunities
- improved safety for crop workers, consumers and the environment.
Prevention and monitoring
Prevention is the first building block for an effective IPM programme. Following best practice, where possible you should aim to start with a pest-free crop; employ good hygiene measures; and maintain an environment favourable to healthy plant growth.
The next building block is preventative biological control. Where appropriate, you should establish a ‘standing army’ of beneficials forming the first line of defense.
You need to regularly scout and monitor pepper crops for pests and diseases. While helping to detect issues as early as possible, it enables the biological balance (population of pests and beneficials) to be closely monitored. As a result, data-driven informed decisions can be made regarding the most appropriate control strategies. Working with Biobest you can rest assured you have access to the latest labour-saving cost-efficient technologies and high-tech scouting options.
While pepper plants have high self-fertility levels, crops grown in greenhouses can still benefit from (cross) pollination. Visits by bumblebees increase the number of seeds per fruit, leading to larger and heavier fruits.
Being effective pollinators of pepper flowers, bumblebees deliver quality and shelf life benefits:
- improved fruit quality – properly pollinated flowers produce larger fruits
- better shelf life – pollination with bees can potentially increase fruit firmness and antioxidant levels.
At Biobest we offer a wide range of bumblebee hives.
When pests or diseases start to build up beyond a tolerable threshold, you’ll need curative biocontrol solutions. These can take the form of programmed introductions of macroorganisms (such as beneficial insects, mites and nematodes) or biopesticides (based on natural substances and microbials). Tailored to the situation in your crop, our technical advisors can recommend the most appropriate products and rates to use.
Should the pest-to-beneficial balance be disrupted, a corrective treatment may be required, ideally using a bio-rational pesticide. Only as a last resort do we recommend localised spraying of a conventional pesticide. Where possible, it should be compatible with biocontrol agents, i.e. selective and with short persistence. To reduce the risk of resistance, growers should not repeatedly rely on the same pesticide or pesticide group.
Our knowledgeable team is eager to advise you!