Start Macrolophus-System early to reap the full rewards

15/10/2021 - With the new season artificially lit tomato crops underway in Europe, applications of Macrolophus-System have already started. According to Biobest advisor Marvin Koot, a good Macrolophus population is essential for the overall biological control strategy for the crop. “In recent years, Tuta absoluta and Nesidiocoris have often thrown a spanner in the works,” he says. “However, now these pests are reasonably under control, many growers can start clean again.

"The earlier you start with Macrolophus-System, the better," he continues. "A good population build-up takes some time, but you then reap the benefits throughout the lifetime of the crop."

“When chemical interventions have to be made against Tuta absoluta and Nesidiocoris, it then takes time for the Macrolophus population to reach full strength. Lack of a good foundation can disrupt the entire biological balance throughout the season, resulting in the need for even more chemical interventions,” he warns.


Marvin recommends only introducing Macrolophus-System if the greenhouse is completely clear of Tuta absoluta and Nesidiocoris, and then aiding its development using Artemac™.

“If whiteflies are detected before the Macrolophus population has reached a sufficient level, we also recommend introducing parasitic wasps,” he says.  “Eretmocerus-System and Encarsia-System are both suitable, or in combination with our Eretmix-System. This approach help keeps the pest pressure low while Macrolophus gets the chance to build up a good population."

Spider mites

The same applies to spider mites. "Macrolophus provides a good first defence against spider mites, but sometimes its need a little help,” explains Marvin.  

“We get good control with Phytoseiulus-System. This voracious predatory mite only eats spider mites. Predating on all stages, it can control hot spots within a few days. By scouting well and applying Phytoseiulus locally, growers can avoid large-scale problems and therefore spraying."


Marvin advises growers to use Isonet® T if they experienced Tuta damage last season.

"This dispenser contains a high dose of female pheromone, which confuses the male moths,” he explains. “It’s important to note that Isonet® T only works if the greenhouse is 100% free of tomato leaf miner.  If the pest has already been detected, it has probably already reproduced and the pheromone will miss its target. For a tailor-made strategy, contact your Biobest advisor."

Healthy root environment

Finally, Marvin highlights ASPERELLO® T34 Biocontrol®.

“This biological fungicide activates the plant's defence mechanism and parasitises pathogenic fungi such as Pythium,” he says. "By using ASPERELLO® at an early stage, you can make optimal use of its preventive effect.

“More and more growers are already instructing their propagators to use this product.  The grower then drips it onto the slabs, ahead of the crop, and repeats every 12 weeks when the plants are in situ. Getting off to a good start is half the battle!”

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