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Koppert is launching ‘Biodiversity Packs’

These are batches containing refuge plants for biological pest control throughout the year, both inside greenhouses and in the open air.
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Koppert has started marketing several batches with different plant species that are suitable for the creation of reservoir areas in greenhouses and indoor crops and for developing hedgerows in outer areas. To prepare the batches, they have selected the plant species that best adapt to each case, aimed at being able to combine them in terms of the requirements of each crop and ensure that there is year-long flowering.

With the commercial launch of these plant batches, Koppert is helping producers to create biodiversity areas in their crops that can maintain permanent populations of natural enemies. In this way, the biological control of pests using conservation is encouraged, thanks to the existence of these miniature ecosystems where the beneficial insects can survive and reproduce during the entire commercial crop cycle.

Selected species

For the indoor plant reservoir plant batches, Koppert has selected eleven species: Yarrow, Dill, Coriander, Fennel, Sweet Alyssum, Ball Rue, Rue, Sage, Lemon Verbena, Marigold and Statice. For the outdoor batches, different aromatic plants that are small, medium and tall have been selected: Lotus creticus, Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender, Rue and Oleander.

Koppert’s batches, known commercially as ‘Biodiversity Packs’, contain different sized trays (140 or 108 alveoli) with ready-to-plant species. Koppert’s technical department offers preliminary advice to determine the most suitable species that each batch should contain, as well as the positioning, sowing date and the total number of plants per hectare (if it is a for an indoor reservoir) or of linear metres with plants (if it is for an outdoor hedgerow).

In addition to biodiversity packs that contain different plant species, Koppert also markets a tray of 104 alveoli with Tagetetenuifolia; a tray of 54 alveoli of Lobularia marítima and a box with 15 plant pots of Lobularia marítima.

Survival of the predators

The lack of hedgerows and reservoirs is one of the reasons behind the increase of aphids in parts of Almeria and the Costa de Granada. “The natural predators of aphids need pollen to be fertile and to be able to reproduce, at the same time as they need nectar to be able to move and be active. Furthermore, wasp parasitoids need nectar from the flowers to be able to fly,” according to Julián Giner, Koppert’s technical manager in Almeria, who recalls that “no predator eats adult aphids, except for coccinélidos (ladybirds) and Oriusmajusculus”.

The absence of hedgerows and reservoirs greatly reduces the survival possibilities of the natural aphid predators, particularly when the commercial crop does not offer either the pollen or nectar that they need to reproduce. “If they cannot reproduce, larvae do not appear, which are the predators, and the aphids reign supreme,” Julián Giner explains. The plant batches marketed by Koppert are used to promote islands of biodiversity and to increase the biological protection of the crops.

 

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