The two most important pests affecting citrus crops can already be treated effectively with biological control techniques. This is certainly a big step forward for some products (orange, mandarin, lime, lemon and grapefruit) which are essentials on any fruit shelf.
Aware of the importance of these crops, Koppert wants to contribute decisively to ensure a sustainable supply of high quality citrus by strongly promoting changes in pest control management. The result is a system which guarantees plant health without generating chemical waste while preventing reductions in harvest volumes.
Compared to conventional methods of chemical control, Koppert Biological Systems offers a completely new and effective approach, which also allows for the production of waste-free citrus that meets the quality standards of the big chains. With this, Koppert becomes the first company to successfully implement biological pest control in citrus.
During 2014, several large companies devoted to citrus production have worked with Koppert's biological control on their farms. Overall, this system has been implemented on around 600 hectares spread over the regions of Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia.
"Satisfaction is high and a strong growth is expected for 2015," says Kris Smet, commercial director of Koppert Spain.
California red scale and White louse scale
"To control California red scale and white louse scale pests, the effectiveness of the endoparasitic wasp Aphytis melinus ensures that we have a product of unparalleled quality," says Kris. Aphytis is a basic tool for the control of these two insects.
"Our work protocol has proven to be very robust and aligned with the sector's needs, providing a clean and efficient solution tailored to the needs of the growers. In short, we have managed to minimise chemical treatments and prevent the pest from damaging the fruit," he continues.
Cottony cushion scale
Furthermore, for the control of cottony cushion scale in citrus, Koppert has first developed a new form of parasitised mummies with Anagyrus pseudococci, commercially known as Citripar. This is a revolutionary format due to its design, which guarantees protection against ants. This important advantage has been achieved by incorporating a special cap and plant locking system that prevents ants from entering the pot while the adult parasite emerge.
In the words of Kris De Smet, "with the addition of Citripar to Koppert's huge catalogue, along with the knowledge of where the pest is likely to be parasitised, we have been able to exploit the full potential of the Anagyrus pseudococci and to expand to new crops such as persimmon, pomegranate or blueberry with a very effective product. Additionally, we have established monitoring systems that allow us to respond quickly to any situation during the campaign, an objective which was unattainable to date."
Years of research
"The way to finding new biological solutions against red scale or cottony cushion scale has not been easy or cheap," says Kris. "Several years ago, Koppert decided to invest in the opening of specific lines of research that have now confirmed their success on the fields, after bringing outstanding results in commercial farms over the last two years."
"At Koppert Spain, we believe that growers and other operators in the food industry will be able to appreciate the difference in quality that our biological solutions bring, backed by the reliability of Koppert, a company that has managed to gain a foothold in the agricultural sector, contributing over the last twenty years to improve production and profitability by allying with nature itself."
For more information:
Kris de Smet
C/. Cobre, 22-24, Parcela P14, Nave 3
Pol. Industrial Ciudad del Transporte de Poniente
04745 La Mojonera, Almeria. Spain
T: +34 902 48 99 00