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New Powerful Plant Anti-Stress Agent– Bluestim for US growers

Biobest Group is proud to announce the launching of Bluestim® into the USA Market. Bluestim® is a new and powerful plant anti-stress agent that will be featured at Biobest’s booth during Cultivate’17 show, in Columbus, Ohio (July 15th-18th).

Biobest Group is proud to announce the launching of Bluestim® into the USA Market. Bluestim® is a new and powerful plant anti-stress agent that will be featured at Biobest’s booth during Cultivate’17 show, in Columbus, Ohio (July 15th-18th).

“Developed by Lallemand Plant Care, Bluestim® enhances crop performance under environmentally stressful conditions, delivering a vast array of benefits to edible and ornamental crops”, explains Harman Gilbert, Biobest Commercial Manager for USA and Canada. “Treated plants will continue to function normally, overcoming the difficulties generated by extreme conditions, such as drought, temperature changes including frost, salinity and other water stresses.”

Bluestim® contains extremely high levels of glycine betaine (97%+) – a natural extract from sugar beet that helps crops deal with a wide range of stresses. Easy to apply, through a foliar spray, it accumulates in plant cells improving the balance between water and nutrients within the plant cells, including calcium mobilization. Bluestim® penetrates through the leaf surface within 24 hours after the application, and is distributed throughout the plant to help it cope with stressful conditions for 3-4 weeks.

Bluestim® is already generating plenty of interest among European growers, where it is marketed as Greenstim®.

“In tomato crops, fruits of treated plants are less susceptible to blossom end rot and cracking, while fruits look shinier”, says Veronica Cervantes, Bluestim® Product Manager for the USA. “In Europe it has shown to reduce micro-crackings in raspberries and strawberries and produce firmer fruits with longer shelf life. Raspberries can soften and deteriorate rapidly after storage due to fungal decay. Berries grown in Belgium treated with Greenstim® have shown a longer shelf life and are noticeably firmer.“

“Biobest is actively exploring and developing applications for Bluestim® in other crops. Since the product can help with the movement of calcium within the plants, we are conducting tests in lettuce (tip burn) and ornamentals (crop quality during transit in cuttings and cut flowers; potted plants at retailer’s shelves). We’re also eager to collaborate to assess frost protection (blueberries and other outdoor crops) and water management in turf and landscape.

Bluestim® is already approved for use in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, South Carolina and Utah, where it can be safely applied to all crops. Florida, Ohio and Maryland will soon follow. The entire Biobest Technical Team is very excited to present Bluestim® to the USA market. To get more information about Bluestim®, visit Biobest Booth (#2928) at Cultivate ’17 Show or check our website at

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Morocco’s tomato growers discover solution to PepMV

Biobetter Maroc, the Biobest Group company serving the Moroccan market with pollination and biocontrol solutions, has an agreement with DCM to distribute its PMV®-01 vaccine.

On April 20, Biobetter Maroc organised a well-attended seminar in Agadir to present PMV®-01, a vaccine against Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV).

With more than 120 participants, local growers and sector representatives demonstrated their strong interest in a solution against this virus that is wreaking havoc on their tomato crops.

In a press release, Biobest said crop losses are particularly high during winter, when success in export markets is crucial.

Biobetter Maroc, the Biobest Group company serving the Moroccan market with pollination and biocontrol solutions, entered into an agreement with DCM (known for its natural and organic-based fertilizers and other plant nutrition products) in 2014 to distribute its PMV®-01 vaccine.

Backed by DCM’s strong registration file and additional local trials, the product was officially registered in Morocco in 2015.

During the previous tomato season the product and its application strategy were commercially validated on 400 ha of commercial crop.

At the seminar, Dr. Inge Hanssen from DCM explained the scientific background to the Pepino mosaic virus and the mechanisms behind plant vaccination.

She also explained the typical symptoms and impact on the crop.

”A sampling program conducted in collaboration with Biobetter Maroc, demonstrated widespread presence of aggressive PepMV isolates. All isolates sampled in Morocco belonged to the Chilean strain (CH2),” Hanssen said.

The development of the PMV®-01 vaccine, field results in various countries and full details of the vaccination strategy, applied under Moroccan crop conditions were also presented, by Thijs De Langhe from DCM and Julien Mourrut-Salesse from Biobest, respectively

Biobetter Maroc general manager Karim Jerate said the tomato industry is an important sector of the Moroccan economy.

“We’re pleased to provide a solution that will give our local growers a competitive edge to sustain growth in export markets. The field experience obtained during this tomato season was totally convincing.

“The product nicely complements our existing product range in pollination and biological control. Our team is fully prepared to support the growers that wish to apply our solutions.

“With PMV®-01 we’re not just selling a product but we’re also supporting the implementation of a carefully designed vaccination strategy. We’re pleased with the many questions and interest received during the seminar and will now be dedicating ourselves to providing each grower with full details,” Jerate said.

See the video presentation illustrating the PMV®-01 vaccination strategy which was shown at the seminar:



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Time to use wasps and gall midges for aphid control in cucumber

Whether they are used in a preventive or a curative approach, parasitic wasps and gall midges are the cornerstone of a reliable aphid control strategy.

Whether they are used in a preventive or a curative approach, parasitic wasps and gall midges are the cornerstone of a reliable aphid control strategy. For cucumber and gherkin growers, now is the time to act, advises Biobest.

Due to the nice weather, spring has awakened rapidly this year. It is also time of the season for aphids, which are now starting to invade greenhouses in Western Europe, it said in a press release.

For cucumber growers, aphids are among the most problematic pests. With a new cultivation period starting soon, Biobest strongly advises taking action now.

Biological control of aphids rests mostly on the introduction of parasitic wasps and gall midges. The female insects look actively for aphid hot spots to lay their eggs. When these eggs hatch, the larvae devour the aphids, it said.

How can growers know which beneficial they should introduce and when? “It depends on whether the grower knows exactly which species are present in his crops,” said Wesley Akkermans, sustainable crop management specialist at Biobest.

Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii)

“If he has only spotted small aphids, like the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) and the cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii), he can rely on two parasitic wasps as part of a curative strategy: Aphidius colemani, complemented with Aphidius matricariae. However small, these aphid species are notorious for their rapid distribution.”

For bigger species, like the glasshouse potato aphid (Aulacorthum solani) and the potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), Akkermans advises the use of Aphidius ervi and Aphelinus abdominalis. “The parasitic wasps are always introduced as mummies. These need to be put on damp, shady spots between the crops to guarantee the best result, preferably close to an aphid hot spot”

If growers don’t know which aphid species are present, or if they want to maintain a thorough preventive strategy, they can opt for Biobest’s Aphi-Mix-System. This is a mixture of the four above-mentioned Aphidius species in the same package.

Last but not least, the parasitic gall midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a strong complementary weapon against aphids. In contrast to the parasitic wasps, the gall midge isn’t very choosy regarding its diet. “Its progeny eats literally every aphid species,” Akkermans said. “Moreover, thanks to the large cucumber leaves, the larvae have an excellent mobility. Only a few larvae per leaf is already enough to destroy a complete aphid population.”

Because of this complementarity Akkermans strongly recommends to apply the gall midges in combination with the parasitic wasps.

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Biobest helps educate growers on Hortidaily bus tour

General manager for Biobest Netherlands Bart Sosef said a recent bus tour with growers was a great opportunity to share the company’s unique perspective on biological control and pollination.

On February 16th and 17th Hortidaily held  its second high-tech greenhouse bus tour. Growers from all over the world were invited to the Netherlands to come and visit some of the world’s most advanced greenhouse operations. Bart Sosef, Biobest General Manager for Biobest Netherlands joined the group of growers on their trip.

“When we were invited to be a sponsor of the tour, we didn’t hesitate a second,” Sosef said.

”This was also a really great opportunity to share our unique perspective on biological control and pollination with the participants. Among the many highlights of the tour, the participants could also see some of our products in action at different locations. I could exchange with them in more detail as to how I think these solutions would also make a difference in their own production back home.

“Among other things, Biobest added a magnifying glass with lanyard to the goodie bag which was well received by the participants. For those not already accustomed to carefully observing pests and beneficials in the crop, this was a good introduction about the importance of careful scouting. I’m sure several of them will now get in touch with a Biobest advisor or distributor in their home country to get more in-depth advice,” Sosef said.