"Having the Natutec Scout app means that we spend less time on plant protection. More importantly, we have better insight into the level of infestation and can see at a glance whether or not the natural enemies are keeping things under control. There is intensive remote contact with the Koppert consultant using the Natutec Scout app as a tool. It allows us to take the measures we need to take quickly, based on the advice provided by the consultant. You can act more promptly."
This is how Barry Enthoven of Lema Tomaten in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands sees it, manager of the 5.5 hectare company owned by Ruud Leerdam and Rob van Marrewijk. Barry has been using the Natutec Scout app since October 2019 and is very happy with how it works. "Scouting with the app is much faster thanks to the scanner’s digital image recognition and the link to the Koppert dashboard. You can very quickly generate analyses in the form of clear graphs so you can quickly gain thorough insight into the level of infestation."
A threshold as an alarm
The Natutec Scout app uses an infestation threshold. The grower determines what the threshold value should be – in conjunction with his consultant if need be. The threshold value helps to prevent unnecessary work. Although, with just two whitefly per square metre or a few thrips in your plant, there is little to be concerned about – and little sense in the software reporting these kinds of measurement. The threshold value works as an alarm bell – as soon as the level of infestation exceeds the threshold, it’s a signal to the grower that he needs to take action.
Respond quickly and accurately, especially in these times of restricted greenhouse access
A major advantage of the Koppert app is the ability of the consultant to check up on things remotely – for Lema Tomaten, that’s the job of Koppert employee Floris van der Helm. "If I need to, I can give advice remotely straight away," explains Floris, "or I can start thinking of strategy changes that can be made. In this era of viruses affecting both people and crops, that’s extremely important. There is no, or only limited opportunity for live contact, although the IPM situation still needs proper management. With the app, the grower and his consultant can collect much more data about current conditions, which makes it possible to respond more quickly and accurately. He can also enter chemical spray applications into the app."
Barry Enthoven: ‘The Natutec Scout app gives you clear analyses. There is intensive remote contact with the Koppert consultant. We see exactly what the level of infestation is and how natural enemies are working.’
Much greater insight
The Scout app also means less time spent organizing biological plant protection. Barry explains, "The map of our greenhouses, which is programmed into the app, allows us to see where an infestation is and how it is evolving. It also allows us to see if the natural enemies are curbing an infestation or if we need to shift strategy in any way. We have greater insight into what is happening in the crop and how natural enemies are developing, allowing us to implement measures very quickly. We can act more promptly. In addition to scouting with the Horiver scanner, we can also enter manual pest counts, so I have two methods available to me."
Locations, greenhouses, departments
The grower can use the greenhouse editor in the Natutec Scout app to program in the actual layout of his greenhouse. The software then provides a visual indication on the map itself to show how the level of infestation is evolving. Different levels of indication are available – on a location by location basis if the company has multiple sites, per greenhouse, or at individual department level. Every user can benefit from improved insight, but it’s especially useful for large to very large companies where plant protection is extremely time consuming.
For Barry Enthoven, the Natutec Scout app is an outstanding innovation from Koppert. "We are always open to trying reliable new technologies. Koppert’s Scout app is an excellent example of an outstanding innovation – it helps us to save time and gives us insight, making plant protection easier, even remotely."