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Tomato grower Joost van der Voort on IPM:

"Europe: "The chemical approach has become too expensive"

For Dutch tomato grower Voort Brielle, integrated pest management is the preferred solution to fight pests and diseases. Consultant Arno Moerman visits the company twice a month, but problems are rare. "It’s the ideal situation really..."

Voort Brielle in ’s-Gravenzande (9,5 hectares spread over various locations) is being run by three van der Voort brothers: Jan, Hans and Claus. 3 hectares are lit. The cultivated varieties are Merlice (unlit) and Tourance (lit). Joost van der Voort (Jan’s son) is assisted by Roel Klap, who deals with crop protection.

Joost van der Voort: "We adopt new techniques as soon as they have proven themselves."

Integrated is the solution
Voort Brielle, a member of Growers’ Association Prominent, is at the forefront of organic cultivation techniques. Intergrated biological crop protection is going smoothly, says Joost. At each crop change, the new crop starts with a clean slate. Whitefly is the only really difficult pest insect. With Roller-traps, and the help of Macrolophus pygmaeus (Mirical) and Encarsia (En-Strip), the scourge remains well under control.

Integrated pest management is the solution, says Joost, even from an economic perspective. "The chemical approach has simply become too expensive. We opted for the biological one, and that's going very well. Preventive deployment and regular inspection are the two main pillars here. We prefer to keep potential pests on a very short leash."

The ideal situation
The grower said that Koppert is a reliable supplier - which is important. But even more vital is the relationship with Koppert's consultant Arno Moerman. Roel Klap: "He visits the company every fortnight. His experience and product knowledge are key to the success of biological crop protection. Right now, things are going so well that Arno rarely encounters any problems. It’s the ideal situation really..."

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