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Biocontrols dominate in Almeria, Spain

Biological control of agricultural pests dominates in the principal Spanish vegetable growing region, Almeria, the fruit and vegetable grower association of Almeria, the Coexphal, says. It has risen by 14% this season compared with 2008/09, and accounts for 63% of controls on protected vegetables. The control of thrips and whiteflies on peppers is solely carried out using such methods. Other crops have seen rises in biocontrols, while the use of such methods on tomatoes has remained at 21%. Concern over the spread of tomato leaf miners ( Tuta absoluta) has led to a continued, higher use of pesticides, including of recently-approved products for emergency use ( Agrow No 582, p 23). But the association warns that the abandonment of broad-spectrum insecticide use is leading to the detection of previously insignificant pests.

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