Bio-insecticide Naturalis-L rolled out for soft fruit use

A new bio-insecticide, used for killing pests in a range of protected salad crops, is being rolled out to target soft-fruit growers.

Naturalis-L, launched in the UK two months ago, has been used mainly on cucumber, pepper and tomato, said Belchim Crop Protection development and marketing manager Adrian Jackson.

"The next stage is to move it to other crops including strawberry," he said. The product combats whitefly, spider mites and thrips but is safe to bees.

Bio-insectide spores on the plant germinated and produced enzymes, which softened up the bodies of the pest, leading to infection and death within two to five days.

Naturalis-L is an oil-based formulation of the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, which can be blended into integrated pest management regimes, said Jackson.

He added that the product had no harvest interval and a shelf life of a year when stored at 20 degsC.


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