We talked to Jolanda Wijsmuller, Food Chain Manager in the Netherlands, about the advantages of biological crop protection products and how farmers can implement them in their spraying schedule.
Why does Bayer invest in biologicals?
Biological products are a valuable tool to improve the level of sustainability in farming. By putting scientifically proven and registered biological products on the market, Bayer is better able to meet the demands of the value chain, meaning reduced residues and sustainable production. What’s more, we are also better able to support farmers in reducing emissions to surface water, which is particularly important for Dutch farmers since the authorities have set objectives to reduce these emissions by 90% by 2023 compared to 2013 levels.
Apart from reducing the chemical load, how do farmers benefit from using biologicals?
We’ve had really good experiences with our product SerenadeTM. In our potato trials in the Netherlands, we were able to reduce the level of infestation with the fungal disease Helminthosporium solani. In trials where a yield increase is seen with the chemical standard to control Rhizoctonia solani, we can also see a yield increase with Serenade. Growers can regard Serenade as a green insurance premium in potatoes.
In the future, will biological products replace conventional crop protection?
No, that probably won’t happen. They’re rather a complement to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs. Farmers need a lot of knowledge on how to apply and implement biological products in their spraying schedule. Of course, Food Chain Managers don’t leave the growers alone with this challenge. We offer training to farmers and our crop advisors are always just a call away for advice.
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