First successful IPM field test in Cyprus

Biobest recently carried out a field test with a cucumber grower in Paralimni, eastern Cyprus. This test clearly showed the great potential of integrated pest management in the difficult climatologic circumstances in the region. L. Lambrou Agro, Biobest’s distributor in Cyprus is convinced it is the starting point for successful introduction of IPM in Cyprus.

Growing interest in IPM

Biobest Area manager Koen Van Elsen: “In Cyprus, growers tend to believe that chemical pest control is their only option. The awareness that there is a need for more sustainable options is growing, both with growers and in the ministry of agriculture but successful examples in the field were still missing. We know that the key to success in biocontrol is close follow-up and good advice. We therefore decided to work with our distributor and a motivated local grower to set-up a well monitored biocontrol field trial in cucumber. The result : this is the first time ever that successful biocontrol practices in an IPM context have been successfully and conclusively demonstrated in the country.”

The grower, Mr. Tasos Spanachis is very pleased with the results: “I grow cucumbers in my 2100 m² greenhouse. The Biobest-representative visited our company every two weeks and scouted the crops for pests. They showed us how and when to distribute the beneficials. We went most of the season without spraying. Only at the very end a correction was required to control spider mites. This could be done using a mild natural acaricide.”

Difficult climate

Koen Van Elsen: ”This test shows that IPM is possible under very difficult circumstances. In Cyprus, cucumber is grown as a short-season summer crop. This means that we were confronted with a very high pest pressure and challenging conditions for beneficials. But we successfully protected the cucumber plants against thrips, whiteflies, aphids, spider mites and leafminers. Sprays were limited to a late season correction of a spider mite outbreak with a natural acaricide. In the future, we believe that even this can be avoided, using more proactive strategies against spider mite.”
“The most important thing is that we have proven that IPM in Cyprus is possible if the growers get training and advice from technical specialists. We would like to thank the team at L. Lambrou Agro LTD, our Cyprus distributor, for their dedication and follow-up. This will surely be the start of the successful introduction of IPM in Cyprus and can serve as a role model for other regions with similar climatic conditions.”

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