Beneficial nematodes (entomopathogenic nematodes) are characterised as being highly effective for the biological control of certain pests, as has been widely proven in greenhouse fruit and vegetable crops. While plant pathogenic nematodes damage the plants, entomopathogenic nematodes are beneficial and 100% safe for plants, animals and humans, as only insects can be hosts for this group of nematodes.
The beneficial nematodes are now also available for many open air crops. Koppert, as the leading bio-control producer, is presenting two biological solutions with these nematodes that coincide in their speed of action and high degree of efficiency against a wide range of pests that seriously affect important open air crops, such as pit fruit, stone fruit, red berries, potatoes and vegetables.
The growing restriction in the availability of pesticides and the increasing resistance of pests to authorised chemical products means that farmers urgently need to find alternative solutions to guarantee the effective control of the pests on their crops.
In response to this demand, in recent years Koppert has been carrying out trials with the application of beneficial nematodes on open air crops with two products: Capirel and Casea. Each of these two products contains a different nematode species and can be used to control a large number of pests such as wireworms in potatoes, seed corn maggot in onions, codling moth and other moths in fruit, trips in open air vegetables such as leeks, beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua) in beet, as well as other caterpillars in leafy crops such as lettuce.
For conventional and eco crops
In addition to the proven efficiency of Capirel and Casea for pest control, another important advantage is that producers can apply these two innovative biological control solutions with their regular irrigation and spraying systems. Koppert’s beneficial nematodes are also compatible with many insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.
As it is a biological solution, the nematodes do not leave any residue on the crops, which means that both conventional and ecological farmers can use them with total safety and peace of mind, even before harvesting as a safety period is not required before being able to harvest. Additionally, the nematodes are safe for humans and for the environment, which encourages the crop’s sustainability.
A long history
Koppert has been producing beneficial nematodes since 1986. Initially, the research and commercial developments were focused on protected vegetable crops. With the experience acquired over the years, now Koppert is extending its beneficial nematode solutions to open air crops in order to offer producers a powerful, fast-acting tool that has already extensively proven its efficiency.
Many years of experience have been invested in the selection, production, formulation and quality control of these beneficial nematodes. Each of the entomopathogenic nematodes produced by Koppert (Steinernemafeltiae, S.carpocapsae and Heterorhabditisbacteriophora) has been selected and tested to fight against specific pests.