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UK: Taking biocontrol and pollination to the next level

Over the next year Biobest UK aims to take biological control and crop pollination in UK tomato crops to the next level, with innovations to pollination and hive design and the introduction of new feeding systems to improve the establishment and stability of beneficial populations.

Led by Biobest UK managing director Phil Walker, the skilled new technical team features well known IPM practitioners Mark Wilde and Mark Jones - all three were early pioneers of IPM in UK tomatoes and protected salads crops.

The first to evolve the commercial supply of bumblebees for crop pollination in 1987, Biobest is a global player producing the largest range of species to fulfill pollination needs in crops around the world. The Belgium based company also produces a market leading range of quality and innovative biological control agents (BCAs) and biopesticides.

“Committed to keeping abreast of changing crop management practices, Biobest has continued to research, invest and innovate," says Phil Walker. “With the current shift to LED lighting systems in tomato crops, Biobest is responding with new innovations to improve bee management. Meanwhile our UK audax hives offer a native bumblebee for optimal tomato pollination."

The Biobest UK Team at the British Tomato Conference last week.

“At Biobest’s Green Lab research facility, detailed laboratory and full scale field studies result in robust IPM strategies optimising the use of beneficials in the commercial marketplace. Customers also benefit from access to our detailed side effects app, which they can use to quickly check the compatibility of chemical actives with BCAs and bees.“

Another area where Biobest is leading is in the development of BCA supporting products, such as Nutrimite™. This highly nutritious food supplement, based on specially selected pollen, accelerates and enhances the population development of pollen feeding predatory mites, such as Amblyseius swirskii and Euseius gallicus.

“The introduction of support products for BCAs is set to be a game changer for IPM,” says Phil Walker. “Not only helping boost beneficial populations, but enabling growers to establish populations where they want them in the crop." 

”Together with our operations manager Tracey Lilliott, who has twenty years experience in the biologicals buisiness, this new UK based Biobest branch has a strong team behind it.”

Based in Ashford, Kent, Biobest UK has excellent links to its parent company in Belgium.

For more information:
Biobest UK
[email protected]

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