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Spanish vegetable growers adopt bio controls

Growers of covered vegetables in Spain have released about 12,000 million beneficial insects since August on their winter crops. These growers are decisively cutting back their applications of pesticides to control “innumerable” insect pests on their crops, growers’ association Hortyfruta says. The major predator insects being used are Amblyseius swirskii, Orius laevigatus and Diglyphus isaea. They are used for the control of thrips, whiteflies and leaf miners among others. The Hortyfruta says that over 13,500 ha will be subject to biological control methods. They are being used on all peppers, some 40% of aubergines, 26% of cucumbers and 25% each of courgettes and tomatoes. Most produce is exported to France, Germany and the UK. Several consignments of peppers were the subject of recall in the EU in 2007-08 ( Agrow No 535, p 12).

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