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Mediterranean rose grower fights thrips organically

Azur roses is a family business producing cut flowers and roses since 1988. The company currently grows roses on 6,000m² as well as about a dozen other ornamental crops. It sells cut flowers to local markets and shops and via online sales. The use of rose petals for cosmetic product is being tested. This requires zero residues.

"In our rose crop, spider mite and thrips are the two major pests,” says Michel Sotto, one of the owners of Azur roses. "Thrips attacks the flower buds, spider mites dry the whole plant. Rose varieties like Avalanche (white) and Dukat (yellow) are highly sensitive to thrips, while thrips damage on Samourai (red) is rare."

Michel continues: ”We tried Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the past, but without real success. Chemical control remained the standard, but the results were not satisfactory either. We had to spray frequently. In summer, we were even spraying during the night. Despite the high cost, we were running out of effective chemical solutions. We were suffering losses averaging 10% to 15%.”

Biobest’s representative Amandine de Souza, presented the Dyna-Mite strategy to Michel and took him to Holland to see the system in action. Michel got convinced to start with IPM again and to make it a success.

Amandine: ”A unit of Dyna-Mite G-System contains 10,000 powerful polyphagous predatory mites. Euseius gallicus controls whitefly, thrips and spider mite and predates on both eggs and larvae. The combination of Dyna-Mite G-System with Nutrimite food supplement allows the establishment of a strong preventive population of predatory mites in the crop, and hence a better control of the three main pests in one go."

Amandine's advice
Amandine proposed a tailor-made and cost effective strategy.

Dyna-Mite G-System was re-leased 3 times from March to May at 50 mites/m². Nutrimite was applied every two weeks, except during the very hot weather periods in July and August. During this period, misting was increased to maintain high humidity in favor of the good settlement of the E. gallicus. Michel says: "In all our actions, we keep the well-being of our predatory mite army in mind.”

Michel's success
Michel: “Control of thrips was very effective. Only one chemical application was necessary when pest pressure increased beyond our intervention threshold. Spider mite control was also much better this year.”

"The Dyna-Mite strategy made a world of difference compared to previous IPM experiences. My losses are now below 5%. With the help of Biobest, I was able to abandon the frequent use of unhealthy pesticides and I could implement an efficient and economic IPM strategy."

For more information
Biobest Belgium NV
Ilse Velden 18
2260 Westerlo - Belgium
T +32 14 25 79 80
F +32 14 25 79 82

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