Biobest has won the Bernard Blum Award, for the most innovative biocontrol product, at ABIM 2022, taking place this week in Basel, Switzerland.
The award was for a new category of commercial mite, Pronematus ubiquitus, that concurrently targets a key pest, russet mite, and the problem fungal disease powdery mildew.
Felix Wackers, Biobest R&D Director: “Pronemite is representative of a new family of beneficial mites; it’s the first effective biocontrol solution for russet mite control; the first commercialised fungal disease control using a mite; and uniquely the first commercialised biological control organism shown to simultaneously control a key pest and a problem pathogen in a protected crop. As such, it represents a whole new category of biocontrol.”
Before receiving the award, Wackers said that Pronemite could be used preventatively by building up large populations of the arthropod using a feed supplement.
The Bernard Blum Award is presented annually by IBMA to the most innovative biocontrol product of the year. In his opening remarks, David Cary from IBMA said this year had received the most entries (19) where in the past the usual range is 12-15.
The recipient should have a high impact in the management of pests or diseases while having a low impact on human health and the environment. The four recipients of awards were given the chance to present their innovation at the opening session of ABIM.
The silver award for an innovative biocontrol product went to Andermatt Group AG for its product Plutex, a highly selective baculovirus to control diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella).
The bronze award for an innovative biocontrol product went to Spanish company Agrobío, which specialises in the production of beneficial insects for pest control and bumblebees for natural pollination. Agrobío has developed a new strain of generalist predator, Orius laevigatus, that the company said is better adapted to feeding on pollen, which helps to maintain beneficial populations.
Having been introduced last year, there was also an award for best innovative product assisting the uptake of biocontrol. The gold award went to CBC Europe for an insect trap that was developed using a branch of engineering that studies the effects and response of organisms to vibrations (biotremology). The company says the Shindo trap uses pheromones and produces vibrations that attract the target insect.
Read the latest issue of New AG International, here, featuring a new project to develop a photonic “nose” to monitor crops for pest infestations and plant disease.