Truly International biocontrol meeting at Niagara Falls

In June Biobest was delighted to sponsor, assist in organizing and join more than 175 scientists and growers from around the world at the International Organization for Biological Control IOBC-WPRS Working Group Meeting. Held every three years, this year’s meeting − entitled "Integrated Control in Protected Crops in Temperate Climates" − was held at the IOBC-Nearctic Regional Section in the beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario, in Canada (http://iobccanada2017.ca).

Dr Michael Brownbridge delivered the keynote address, “Where we’ve been, where we are and where we need to go”, during which he skillfully introduced and linked each session theme into the global IPM system approach.

The program featured presentations and greenhouse tours focusing on innovative strategies to enhance and implement biocontrol strategies at the grower level. However, it didn’t stop there moving on to encompass successful integration in to the real world of production. Researchers from around the world presented results on the influence of the environment, looking at the effects soil microbes, plant defense mechanism and greenhouse environment (ie LED lightning) have on beneficials and pest insects. The program concluded with a session looking at opportunities and challenges for the future.

At the cutting edge of new technologies, Biobest actively participated in the meeting with Karel Bolckmans (COO), Neal Ward (IPM and Pollination Specialist for UK, Eastern Europe, China and Sub-Saharan Africa) and three R&D scientists sharing their expertise.

Sebastien Jacob, R&D Manager for North America, summarized the effect of NutrimiteTM on various predatory mites in different crops and countries. Dr Juliette Pijnakker, Senior researcher at Biobest gave a talk on the augmentation and conservation of Iphiseius degenerans on greenhouse crops – this powerful beneficial agent is often underestimated. Last but not least, Dominiek Vangansbeke, Senior researcher at Biobest, presented novel data on thrips egg predation by various predatory mites: an often overlooked pest control mechanism.

Dr Sanderson, of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA) said: “there is simply no better meeting to attend. You find out the latest from biocontrol companies and have the opportunity to talk to pest management consultants and extension professionals to hear what is really happening in greenhouses around the world. You come away from the meeting with lots of new information, new ideas and new friends! I just can’t stress how useful and enjoyable these meeting are - the Niagara meeting was no exception.”

“This IOBC meeting was perfectly organized and it was great and stimulating to meet so many people that work on biocontrol in greenhouse crops. The local organizers and convener of the WG managed to make an interesting program with a perfect balance between exciting new scientific talks and stimulating discussions and presentations about how to further implement biological control into practice”, said Gerben Messelink of WUR.

Following on from the success, Biobest researcher Dr Juliette Pijnakker is already planning the next IOBC-WPRS meeting − due to take place in 2020 in Brest, France. Biobest hopes to see you there.

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