22 sep 2014

Biobest launches ABS-mini on a stake - practical solution for thrips bio-control in plant propagation

Biobest announced today at the AmericanHort plug and cutting conference the launch of a new product. The company’s ABS (Amblyseius cucumeris) mini-sachet will now be available in a version “on a stake”. The ABS mini-sachet, ideal for protection of individual plants, releases during several weeks the optimal dose of the highly effective thrips predator Amblyseius cucumeris. The traditional ABS mini-sachet comes equipped with a hook that can be easily attached to plant support sticks. Plant propagators showed keen interest but needed an easy solution to apply sachets to plugs or plug trays. With the ABS-mini-sachet on a stake, Biobest now offers a tailor-made product to satisfy the needs of plant propagators in North-America. Also in hanging baskets with ornamental plants, the product has strong potential.

Ronald Valentin, Technical Manager for Biobest in North-America, highlights the importance of bio-control in plant propagation: ”The quality of plants coming in from the propagator is a major factor for growers to succeed in biological control. It is not uncommon for growers to have trouble starting their bio-control program, when plants come in with pesticide residues. That obviously has a negative effect on beneficial insects and mites. We need a “holistic” approach. Bio-control shows its full potential when used from the beginning till the end. I’m therefore very excited to announce this new product addressing the needs of plant propagators. I’m convinced that our ABS-mini sachet will soon be recognized as the signature of good bio-control practice in plant propagation and will bring real added value to plant propagators.”

Bart Kouwenberg, head grower at Harster Greenhouses, fully endorses the importance of using biocontrol in plant propagation. Harster Greenhouses does propagation for in-house production and for other growers and applies biological control in different ornamental crops such as African violet, Stephanotis and Poinsettia. Bart Kouwenberg: “Early introduction of Amblyseius cucumeris is critical for successful thrips control, often the main pest problem in African violet (saintpaulia) production. Since several years we apply in breeder piles immediately at the start of propagation. The new Biobest ABS-mini+stake is a great improvement on this strategy. The sachet does not occupy any plug space and is water resistant, so it will not be affected by overhead watering. The sachets release the predatory mites over a longer period of time. Moreover, application is really simple: one sachet in every propagation tray from day 1. In this way, thrips larvae simply don’t have a chance with predatory mites waiting for them all the time.”

The predatory mite Amblyseius cucumeris is a powerful and economical biological control agent for thrips, feeding specifically on young thrips larvae. Thrips is generally the number one problem in plant propagation. Hence, effective biocontrol of thrips is the foundation for successful bio-control in plant propagation. Bio-control solutions for other pests problems are also available.

For more information contact Biobest USA (info@biobest-usa.com), Biobest Canada (info@biobest.ca) or Ronald Valentin (rvalentin@biobest-usa.com).