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"Biological crop protection only has advantages"

Young Plants Grünewald in the Dutch town of ’s-Gravenzande specializes in the rooting of herb, potted and bedding plants. Under 3.6 hectares of glass, over 1500 varieties of young plants are propagated vegetatively. With a product range that size, it becomes a challenge to keep the starting material free of pests and mold. For this reason, once every two weeks, Saskia Suanet, crop protection specialist at Benfried, comes by to check the plants.

Biological crop protection
Nico Boers, owner of Grünewald, mentions how two years ago, they started using biological crop protection. “At that time, Saskia introduced us to the Atheta system, and this has been the base for our biological crop protection ever since.” Atheta Coriaria is a type of predatory beetle that, among others, combats thrips. The large flight range of the Atheta allows for optimal spreading. “The Athetas form a good base for soil biology, and we also use them preemptively. When needed, we also use Montdorensis and Cucumeris,” says Nico. The biological crop protection and the guidance of Saskia yield results. “We haven’t had any serious pressures due to infections for the past couple of years.”

Better rooting
Nico: “The use of biological crop protection only comes with advantages, in my opinion. First off, you can always use biological crop protection. When you spray this is different, you need to take all sorts of factors into account, such as personnel and residue on the crops. Secondly, we can see that the rooting of our starting material is better compared to a few years ago when we still used chemical products on a regular basis. Finally, it is also cost-efficient. Together with Saskia, we create an action plan. When you use biological crop protection wisely, you will need less expensive chemical products.”

Gnatrol against Sciara
“In the spring, we suddenly saw an increase in Sciara activity. On Benfried’s advice, we then started using Gnatrol SC,” says Nico. Gnatrol SC is a biological product that combats the larvae of Sciara and Scatella and fits in well with the integrated system. Nico: “We have used Gnatrol two to three weeks in a row with a five-day interval. After the second treatment, we already noted a strong reduction in the Sciara population.” Gnatrol also fits in with the crop protection policy the growers from ’s-Gravenzande go by. “We strive to only use biological products, and Gnatrol is a nice addition to this. It’s safe for the biological beneficials and also works very well,” says Nico.

For more information:  
Benfried International B.V. 
Hooipolderweg 1
2635 CZ Den Hoorn ZH
T:+ 31 (0)15 - 2569356

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