News from Koppert Biological Systems
Koppert supplies TRIANUM (Trichoderma harzianum strain T-22) for the control of soil-borne pathogens and the general strengthening of crops, often resulting in increased yields of better quality. Interestingly, recent observations by Kenyan rose growers who consistently use Trianum is that the level of infection of their rose bushes with Crown Gall (Agrobaterium tumefaciens) has gone down tremendously!
For instance, in late 2011, one grower in Nyahururu (Suera Flowers Ltd.) noticed that in one of their agrobacterium-infected greenhouses (Hse # 10), the number of galls had gone down drastically. This observation was made 5 months into the use of Trianum. They noticed the drying up of existing galls and remarkably so, no new galls had emerged. This was the case despite the grower starting the practice of bending the crop in order to create foliage for the application of predatory mites for spider mite control. The grower then got into the cultural practice of removing the dried-up galls and by January 2012, the entire greenhouse was free of fresh galls!
The next grower to make a similar observation was Bigot Flowers based in Naivasha. Historically, whenever the grower bent his young crop, about 5 weeks after planting, the crop almost always developed galls around the fragile wounds. In late 2011, Bigot Flowers started regular application of Trianum in their newly planted crop of about 6 Ha. At bending, the crop did not develop a single gall. 7 months down the road, no crown galls have developed, and the General Manager, Mr. Jagtap K., credits this to the regular application of Trianum. Since then, he has expanded the area under Trianum to include older crop with great results.
Yet another Naivasha-based grower, Nini Farm, has been using Trianum since October 2011. The grower has since observed a significant reduction in crown gall in all the units treated with Trianum. In addition he has also noted that the crop has an average increase in production of over 20%!
Xpressions Flora located in Njoro, has observed the same in their 4-year-old Athena crop. The crop had been infested with crown gall which they estimate that, over time, had reduced the production levels significantly. After about 6 months of regular use of Trianum, the grower noticed that the galls were drying up. Initially, they were hesitant to attribute this to Trianum. So they did a thorough review of their operations over recent months and noticed that the addition of Trianum was the only unique thing they had done. So, apart from improving the production quantity and quality, Trianum was now contributing the reduction of Agrobacterium infection in their rose crop. It is therefore not surprising that 100% of Xpressions Flora is now on regular application with Trianum! It is perhaps not a coincidence then that the farm won Platinum in the “Best Grower Award” at the International Flower Trade Expo held in Nairobi in March 2012.
On the basis of the above experiences by growers, one can confidently recommend Trianum as a tool for the management of Crown Gall in roses. Typically Koppert recommends a minimum application of 1Kg Trianum per Ha per month. Please feel free to contact Koppert for further technical or commercial enquiries.
1, 2 & 3 Chincholkar S. B. & Mukerji K.G.; Biological Control of Plant Diseases; © 2007 Harworth Press Inc.
Kerr and Htay, 1974, 1989. Pg 159.
New Quality Policy in Preparation
The growing use of virtual transactions makes the reliability of the supply information more and more critical. Simultaneously, growers claim more responsibility for their products, and like to distinguish their products while auctioning. The interests of both parties will be combined in the new quality policy. Growers will be able to offer guaranties for their products, and to distinguish themselves as top quality providers. Buyers will be able to choose the level of certainity they prefer to work with.
The new policy will be tested in a pilot on Alstroemeria, in the three export auctions. Growers will be able to supply flowers with a guarantee label. However, FloraHolland will play a role in the settlement of claims. In a later phase growers will be able to offer top-quality, for example through a Premium Quality label.
The Alstoemeria growers workgroup, together with FloraHolland, worked out the interpretation for the pilot. The FPC Alstroemeria supported the recommendations. Soon, a ‘sounding board group’, composed of growers and buyers, will discuss the proposed programme. Their recommendations will guide FloraHolland in preparing the pilot. Target date for starting the pilot is September 2012.