Biobest Group NV (Biobest), a worldwide supplier of solutions for biological control of pests and disease, and Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. (ecoation), a Canadian developer of automated greenhouse management and crop health monitoring technologies, have signed a partnership agreement effective January, 2021. This partnership allows Biobest to offer ecoation’s grower assist solution to their European customer network.
ecoation offers solutions centred around closed-loop IPM, providing yield production assessments and crop work quality checks. Within the IPM solution, ecoation technology allows for the digitization of the IPM workflow, including scouting observations, and real-time pest risk alerts. ecoation delivers insights at a m2 granularity of the greenhouse and provides an essential tool for the rapid information gathering and knowledge distribution necessary for timely optimization of biological control strategies.
Present in over 70 countries worldwide, Biobest offers high quality biological control agents and bumblebees for pollination to growers of greenhouse and berry crops. Being an award-winning player in the field of IPM, Biobest stands out by providing growers worldwide with customized technical advice.
Given the shared goal of driving value for growers through optimizing their IPM, Biobest and ecoation have entered into a channel partnership in which Biobest will offer the ecoation OKO machine to European growers. The ecoation technology is an enabler for optimizing the use of biocontrol agents. The digitized IPM workflow in combination with Biobest’s expertise on biocontrol will ultimately optimize the IPM program of Biobest customers. The two companies will cooperate closely to ensure customers benefit from a seamless experience by offering the equipment and analytics to diagnose improvement opportunities and the means to execute the adjustments.
At a glance, some of the many synergies identified include:
1) Treatment plan effectiveness
Growers can benefit from ecoation’s early detection of new IPM risks and identify inefficiencies & optimization opportunities in beneficial treatment strategies.
“Growers can work with Biobest in using ecoation’s IPM services to optimize their treatment plan, not only benefiting from proven cost savings that we’ve seen from the implementation of our services but also other benefits that come from happy, healthy plants,” comments ecoation Founder and CEO, Dr. Saber Miresmailli.
“The Biobest technical advisors are experts when it comes to guiding our customers in their IPM program and optimizing biocontrol in their greenhouse. Being able to combine this expertise with the readings & scouting data digitally available through the ecoation service will further optimize running IPM programs. Human and machine joining forces have a very high potential in creating optimal IPM.” comments Jean-Marc Vandoorne, Biobest CEO.
2) Digitized Pest & Plant Health History
From recording issues in-row to accessing powerful web app analytics reports, digitized scouting data streamlines information and creates an accurate history of plant health in the greenhouse, enabling more impactful advice from Biobest during site visits.
“The benefits that come from a long, accurate plant health history are similar to those of having the same family doctor since you were young,” shares ecoation Founder and CEO, Dr. Saber Miresmailli. “With access to ecoation’s IPM insights, Biobest experts will be able to visualize past health concerns in an organized, easy-to-access form as a tool to diagnose current issues and provide next steps.”
3) Greater visibility for better advice
With an aligned belief in the Human + Machine approach, both companies see an opportunity in using the operational visibility provided by ecoation's platform, enabled by tools like Virtual Walk and others, to equip Biobest with constant eyes on the ground at every m² of the greenhouse. This way, experts can assess plant health in-between and leading up to on-site visits, creating maximum value for customers in the advice they receive.
“Unburdening our customers by bringing them high quality products to employ the best technical IPM advice there is in the industry, is what we strive to do every day. This partnership will further allow us to deploy this strategy and will help growers and Biobest to optimize IPM like never before” concludes Jean-Marc Vandoorne, Biobest CEO.