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Italy: Casalasco experiments with organic control techniques against red spider mites

24/06/2019 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme - Lire en français
On 12 June, agronomists from the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro, assisted by the Bioplanet company (Cesena, FC), which breeds insects and mites used as a control method in organic agriculture, by technicians of the various companies (Buoli Attilio snc and Aermatica3D) that supplied the drone and the relevant equipment, and by Marco Zambelli, external consultant, launched an experiment for controlling and progressively eliminating the population of red spider mites. 

The red spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) is a mite of tiny dimensions, extremely prolific, that causes huge damage to tomato crops by attacking the leaves and thereby causing the death of the plant. During the last season, attacks of this pest spread in the regions of southern Piacenza, right through to Parma, Ferrara and Alessandria.

The experiment was carried out near Rivergaro (province of Piacenza) on a plot of land of about three hectares cultivated by a member of the Consorzio Casalasco, with the initial launch by drone of hundreds of thousands of Phytoseiidae mites of one single type, on one half of the plot of land, while the other half also benefited from a drone launch of various types of open field phytoseiids. Phytoseiidae mites are used as natural predators against other mites that eat plants, and are currently frequently used as organic plant protection agents. Thanks to them, red spider mites are no longer considered as the main insect pest in fruit cultivation.

The plot of land will be controlled and managed each year, thanks to a drone equipped with a multispectral camera, so that the agricultural engineers of Consorzio Casalasco can evaluate the usefulness of a further dispersion of Phytoseiidae.

The objective of Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro is to replace classic chemical plant-health inputs by organic protective measures, which can be extended to all the farms concerned by the issue, while using less agricultural resources, thereby allowing a considerable reduction of the carbon footprint and by consequence lessening the environmental impact in order to protect biodiversity.

Related companies

Casalasco Società Agricola S.p.A

Tomato processor See details
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Italy: a common strategy in the fight against red spider-mites

21/03/2019 See details

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