Start using beneficials in your plant nurseries

16/05/2018 - At this time of year cucumber and gherkin growers in Western Europe are preparing for the second planting of the season. There is no need to use chemicals! Our beneficial insects and mites enable a broad biological control strategy that protects the crop against thrips, whitefly and aphids. After all, the key to success is prevention.

Sam Gui, IPM and Pollination Specialist at Biobest says: “a small army of Amblyseius swirskii will effectively prevent the development of thrips and whitefly. During the propagation of young plants, pest pressure generally remains low. The swirskii army therefore needs additional food to establish itself preventatively. We recommend growers use NutrimiteTM, which is easy to apply using the Nutri App blower. This nutritional supplement makes earlier introduction of the predatory mites possible and helps promote successful establishment in the crop.

But cucumber plants have additional enemies and it is crucial to control aphids as early as possible. Sam advises: “Biobest’s Aphi-Mix-System combined with Aphidoletes-System is the ideal solution for aphid infestations. This “mix” of parasitic wasp species offers broad preventative control against numerous aphid species. Monitoring this pest is very difficult due to the high plant density. The Aphi-Mix-System therefore has an important role to play in a general prevention strategy. When applied correctly, the parasitic wasp will attack and control aphids before the grower has even noticed their presence.

 Sam concludes: “Applying a preventative biological control strategy does not only benefit the young plant producer, it also provides added value for their customers, the cucumber growers. They can start with healthier plants that show no chemical residue. Moreover, choosing biological control can help prevent resistance issues later in the cultivation process.”

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