Koppert is a pioneer when it comes to the selection and breeding of beneficial nematodes for the biological control of many pests. Having introduced them successfully into horticulture since 1986, steps have recently been taken to apply them successfully in a broad spectrum of agricultural crops. A growing number of farmers are now using this natural solution that is rapidly replacing limited chemical crop protection products.
José Maria García is an asparagus farmer from Fuente Vaqueros near Granada, Spain, where he has been growing asparagus on a hectare for the last two years. He had many problems with this crop from the start – particularly with wireworms and caterpillars that ruined his crop.
For growers, one of the main incentives to use beneficial nematodes is the diminishing role and performance of chemical crop protection products. Either they have been removed by international and local authorities, or pests have become resistant to them. In addition, the list of prohibited pesticides is growing. As beneficial nematodes do not need registration in most countries, they require only a short development time to reach a new market.
‘The chemical solutions I used before were no longer available, so I asked my distributor and he recommended one of Koppert’s biological nematode solutions – Casea – which has worked very well for me. The truth is that it has solved my problem!’ José Maria enthuses. Before finding the nematode solution Casea, the Spanish farmer had to discard half of his asparagus harvest due to the damage caused by pests. ‘Once I started applying the beneficial nematodes, I noticed that the damage from the pests had stopped and that the asparagus crop grew healthy and straight as pencils. I found no damaged asparagus nor did I have to discard part of the harvest, as was the case before. Casea had done the job very well.’
Easy to use and no residue
Beneficial nematodes are a broad spectrum biocontrol solution. They are sprayed on crops using commonly used spraying or irrigations systems in the same way that conventional pesticides are introduced, making them easy to use. In this way, they can replace conventional pesticides in many crops and play a complementary role in an IPM strategy.
José Maria applies Koppert’s Casea at dusk, as this is when nematodes are best introduced to the plants as the soil is wet and the solution penetrates better. ‘This product is very easy to apply. In addition, it was a huge advantage not to have to wait for the pre-harvest interval that applies to chemicals. This product doesn’t leave residues so that my harvest reaches the market without any type of contamination.’
José Maria confesses he had been on the point of stopping cultivation on his farm altogether, because he just couldn’t fight the pest. ‘Thanks to Casea, I have now changed my mind and will continue producing successfully here!’
More about Casea
For the control of various insect pests in stone fruits, outdoor vegetables and urban trees
Can be applied with regular spray equipment
Highly soluble biodegradable formulation with long shelf life