Fruit growers in France are increasingly turning to sustainable nematode solutions to protect their orchards against pests – a living, natural solution for their fruit. Koppert has been producing nematodes for horticultural purposes since 1986 and they are now being successfully applied to a broad spectrum of agricultural crops that includes fruit, berries and outdoor vegetables, among others.
Using beneficial nematodes in apple
Michel Loubejac is a fruit grower in Moissac in the Tarn-et-Garonne, region of France. Here he grows organic apples on 5 hectares used for baby compotes, and plums on 2 hectares. He started his orchard in 1987 and used conventional pest control until 2016, when he switched to organic methods.
‘I had some difficulties with codling moths and leafrollers at the time and switched to biocontrol to save my production,’ Michael remembers. ‘I was suffering from heavy pest pressure, and my distributor suggested spraying nematodes on the ground to reduce the pest pressure in spring.’ ‘We don’t have that many biological solutions available for organic agriculture and Capirel nematodes helped a lot to control and reduce the pest pressure,’ Michel states. ‘It had a positive effect in the spring and there was less need for trapping to reduce the pressure.’
Michel reports that the benefit of using Capirel nematodes is that it can also be used as a preventive treatment in the autumn to reduce the pest pressure for the following spring.
Easy application and good results
‘For the preparation, I leave the nematodes at room temperature for half an hour, then I pour them in water. And then we stir! This makes them active. We wait another half an hour. Once they are fully diluted, we add the mix into the tank. The sprayer is filled halfway and the bucket with the nematodes is injected into the preparation. And finally, we complete the volume of water to correspond with the quantity of nematodes,’ Michel explains. ‘It’s easy to dilute in this way.’
Michel says it is easy to apply if the ground is already wet. He waits until it rains. ‘I then apply the solutions right after it rains so that the nematodes can enter the soil. In the dryer season we rely on irrigation.’
The French fruit grower has been using Capirel for 3 years. ‘The results are good. There is only a little damage but it’s not excessive,’ he confirms. ‘We do it every year to avoid pest invasion so it is fully included in the treatment programme. It’s a must have!’
Long shelf life and biodegradable
‘Capirel does not present any risk for users and the formulation is 100% biodegradable. It’s a natural, living solution with a long shelf life in the fridge,’ Michel concludes.
‘Yes, I would recommend it to anyone who has problems with codling moths and leafrollers. It really helps to reduce the pest pressure. I’m proud to spray a solution that’s full of life in my orchard!’