Growers around the world are applying large-scale biological crop protection. As a result, the use of insecticides in horticulture has declined significantly, while growers enjoy larger and higher-quality crop yields. Products grown with the help of biological crop protection are healthy and safe for both consumers and the environment. Supermarkets that sell vegetables and flowers consider aspects such as sustainability and environmentally-friendliness to be very important.
Biological crop protection
What is biological crop protection?
The idea behind biological crop protection is very simple: natural enemies such as predatory mites, ladybugs, and parasitic wasps are released to combat harmful insects, in the same way as they do in the wild. Koppert supplies various species of parasitic wasps, predatory mites, bugs and beetles, gall midges, and lacewings. Visit our YouTube channel to see how natural enemies attack their prey.
While more and more growers are using natural enemies to combat pests and diseases instead of chemical agents, this is not visible on the products themselves. Ask your supermarket and encourage them to adopt more sustainable practices.
If you buy a product labeled 'organic', you can rest assured that no chemical crop protection methods were used.
The card/sachet in the plant means that natural enemies were used to combat pests. This is a good sign and means you bought a sustainable plant! You can leave the card/sachet in the plant. It may still contain some natural enemies, which will continue to combat pests on the plant. Don't worry about these insects: they are only interested in pests and will die out when the pests have been eliminated.
In addition to beneficials and pollinators, microbial products such as bacteria and fungi form a third pillar for the sustainable production of plants and crops. Even though they cannot be seen with the naked eye, these products – which can be used above ground and underground – have the potential to do incredible things. They combat diseases and pests, strengthen crops, and improve the absorption of nutrients. Their development calls for high-quality and costly scientific research.
The process may differ, but the biological fungicide Trianum is an excellent example. Trianum is based on the fungus Trichoderma harzianum. Spores of the T-22 strain colonize a plant's root system and keep pathogens at bay.
Are you working on an assignment for school? If so, visit http://www.secretagentsinhorticulture.com/ for information about biological crop protection, natural pollination, and microbiology. You can also find a lot of information at www.koppert.com, but this information is geared towards professional growers.