Kevin Price, head of Corporate
Marketing and Communications at Certis Europe, has used the New Year to set out
some of the challenges and trends that the company foresees in global food
He said that the crop
protection company needed to understand the complex challenges facing ‘the
long-term future of food production.’ Certis has been working with Forum for
the Future to address these issues and inform its long-term strategies, and
this has resulted in a project that has helped Certis understand how its future
context may change.
“It seems likely that the
size of the market for conventional crop protection products will reduce
substantially,” said Kevin. “This will be due not only to regulatory
developments but also to advances in precision agriculture and the increasing
use of biological solutions alongside chemical solutions. We shall probably see
a shift towards prevention rather than cure and a significant shift towards
highly-targeted precision application where appropriately adapted formulations
and alternative technologies replace spraying to a great extent. With such
relatively dramatic changes in the tools available to growers, we anticipate a
need for greater service support alongside the products.”
He also indicated a belief
that high-tech physical crop protection, such as mechanical weeding carried out
by drones and autonomous robots, will become mainstream. “It is clear that farm
data is growing in importance in terms of the development of technologies and
the provision of crop protection solutions. Farmers will have information at
their fingertips from the technology involved in every aspect of the farming
operation so that they know exactly when, where and how to target pests and
diseases before they take hold. The application of chemicals will be highly
targeted and thus quantities used will be vastly reduced.”
Following the decision by Certis Europe to divest itself of its commercial sales business of beneficials in certain European countries, Koppert recently acquired the business for the UK, France and Italy. Certis says it will continue to sell its beneficial organism products elsewhere and develop integrated crop protection programmes for its customers in its other markets.
‘The acquisition of Certis Europe’s beneficials sales business in the UK, France and Italy, fits in well with our long-term strategy to further develop biological solutions for these important agricultural and horticultural countries,’ says Koppert Biological Systems’ Managing Director, Henri Oosthoek.
‘The negotiations with Certis were fruitful and coincide with Koppert’s mission to make agriculture healthier, safer and more productive for the better health of people and the planet. The transfer of business is underway and customers in these countries have been notified,’ he added.
Certis Europe is a leader in integrated pest management for the horticultural and specialty crop sectors. Its CEO, Mark Waltham, said: ‘We are excited to find in Koppert a potential partner that is the market leader in beneficial production and development and is therefore best placed to build on the excellent customer relationships Certis and BCP have developed with beneficial products over the last 20 years.’
Anglia Farmers, Certis and Ecospray have teamed up to apply for an emergency approval for the use of NEMguard DE on potatoes, which has now been granted for use at planting for the control of potato cyst and free living nematodes.
Acute product shortages this season have left growers calling for alternative nematicides as the planting season gets underway. “PCN is the number one pest for potato growers, and has huge economic impact for the industry,” said Mr McDonald. “The emergency authorisation comes at a time when potatoes are already being planted. NEMguard DE is a registered granular nematicide for use in carrots and parsnips, so some growers will already have experience with the product.”
He adds, “It’s important to note the application advice for use in potatoes is at a different dose rate to other root crops.”
This 120-day emergency authorisation is for NEMguard DE to be applied to potato crops by granular application machinery at planting. The maximum dose rate is 60kg/ha with a single in-furrow application (not broadcast). Current trials suggest that the highest levels of efficacy have been seen on free-draining (sandy or mineral loam) soils. The 120-day emergency authorisation will expire on the 11 August 2015.
Users must be in possession of a copy of the Extension of Authorisation Number: 0983 of 2015 for full details of product extension prior to use. It is available from the CRD website www.pesticides.gov.uk.