Erik Mooij:

"Application of Serenade on roses depends on circumstances"

"Serenade is not a universal mildew agent that’s suitable for all rose companies. For that it lacks working duration. But here at this company - where the Avalanche variety is grown exclusively in rather damp greenhouses - it fits very well and we achieve excellent results with it. So it really depends on the circumstances how you can successfully fit Serenade into the spraying schedule.''

Erik Mooij summarizes his experiences with the Serenade agent in roses in a few sentences. He is an independent crop protection advisor in roses and gerberas. The designation 'here at this company' stands for Van den Berg Roses in Delfgauw (South Holland), where self-employed Mooij has been advising on crop protection for a few years. Since four years, Serenade has been used four to five times in the period from October to March. The main aim is to limit the use of 'stronger' products - which can cause damage to the plants when full dosages are used - as far as possible and, where possible, to push them further ahead. "So I mainly see Serenade as a curative addition to the chemistry and a nice bridging agent in a difficult cultivation period," according to Mooij.

The consultant emphasizes that the strategy at Van den Berg Roses is 'pure customization' that has been worked on for several seasons: “A few years ago - when I was still a regular employee - the company was suffering considerably from mildew. To suppress this, we have looked at and tested several new spraying strategies. In the end, Serenade was found to be a piece of the puzzle. An essential aspect is that only Avalanche is grown at Van den Berg Roses, a variety that produces a lot of mass and therefore brings more moisture into the greenhouse than for example Red Naomi. Because of this, a mild product such as Serenade can be well suited.''

To apply the product as well as possible under the leaf and in the core of the crop, also a lot of tinkering has been done with the spray technique. Especially the spraying angle is quite critical, according to Mooij, but he does not want to elaborate any further here. “That’s a bit of a secret in the trade.”

No total solution
Although Mooij is passionate about green products such as Serenade, he does not expect these products to become widely used in a perennial crop such as with roses. "Sometimes they are well suited, like here at Van den Berg Roses. But I do not see it as a total solution for the time being. After the winter there is always some contamination, for that you will have to use chemical agents anyway." The consultant is therefore pleased that also new selective means with a favorable environmental profile are still coming onto the market, such as Sivanto Prime and Batavia. "Biological agents are beautiful, but the sustainability of the cultivation can also take place via selective agents. That may be more difficult to discuss, but we must continue to explain it as a sector,'' he concludes.
Source: Bayer, Glastuinbouwkoerier

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