As part of its continuous product improvement programme, Biobest has redesigned the packaging for its popular Macrolophus-System, which is widely deployed against a number of pests such as whitefly and Tuta absoluta. The plastic bottle containing vermiculite carrier has been replaced with a sustainable cardboard carton - with removable lid and containing honeycomb paper. It is the first Biobest product to be made available in 100% biodegradable packaging.
Improving quality and hence control
“Our new Macrolophus-System packaging contains a gel formulation providing a source of water for the adult predators during transport,” explains Biobest Product Manager Ines De Craecker.
“Macrolophus pygmaeus is a mirid-bug – a sensitive, delicate-winged insect that likes to hide. Replacing the vermiculite, the new packaging contains honeycomb paper creating plenty of air holes – enabling adults to move freely around or hide.
“These adaptations help ensure the adults arrive in optimal condition, improving overall product quality by boosting establishment levels and ultimately control.”
New improved 100% biodegradable packaging for Biobest’s Macrolophus-System is delivering a host of benefits to growers – not least enhanced establishment and performance of this versatile predator.
There are additional benefits in regard to the release method, which is now quicker and easier – saving time.
“In the past, growers were required to pour piles of vermiculite into Bio-Boxes or onto horizontal crop leaves, creating several release points throughout the crop – depending on the release rate,” explains Ines.
“With Biobest’s new improved Macrolophus-System, growers simply remove the lid and place the carton on a cart travelling down a row. Alternatively, they can walk the carton down the row at a good pace - holding it level with the upper part of the plant. The adult predators are now noticeably more active, flying out of the packaging immediately and quickly dispersing into the crop.”
Also, growers no longer need to feed at release points; they simply feed full rows with Biobest’s alternative food sources Nutrimac™(Plus), followed by full field applications with Artemac™.
Afterwards, Ines recommends hanging the honeycomb paper on a plant and simply leaving the carton in the crop. “Any remaining Macrolophus adults or nymphs can then emerge,” she says. “Being 100% biodegradable, the new packaging can simply be left in situ and cleaned out, together with the plants, at the end of the crop. While constantly looking at ways to improve the establishment and overall performance of our products, sustainability has also become a key factor.”