As growers look for more sustainable management practices, we search for the most suitable machinery that fits these aims.
An increased number of strawberry growers are now using natural enemies (beneficial predatory insects and mites) in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) programmes, with 12 applications per season being the current average.
While it is possible to apply these products manually, it is incredibly labour intensive and time-consuming, not to mention a challenge for workers to apply in the right places at consistent rates.
To help alleviate the issues growers are facing with the manual application of beneficial predatory insects and mites, we have been working on a new initiative with Bioline AgroSciences, which produces natural enemies for use in Integrated Crop Management programmes.
Over the last few months, we have co-created the Bio Applicator, which we officially launched at Fruit Focus on Wednesday, 13 July 2022.
This self-contained beneficial insect applicator is a fully electric towed machine powered by a battery (lasting approximately 8 hours).
“As the Bio Applicator is fully electric, growers could potentially save even more when applying their beneficial insects, compared to manual labour, as they don’t need to use a tractor and could instead use a quad or any small compact vehicle to tow the machine,” said Claire Seymour.
Great care has gone into developing an applicator which will not harm or impact the quality of the beneficial insects or mites being applied.
The Bio Applicator incorporates a cooled hopper which is a step up from the rolled hopper found in the other beneficial insect application machines on the market.
The cooled hopper prevents certain insects, mainly Phytoseiulus, from rising to the top when warm, thus keeping everything well mixed and making consistent application easier.
The Bio Applicator is also variable rate which allows for the application rate to be automatically adjusted plant by plant.
As with everything we manufacture at our Avon Works site in Kent, the Bio Applicator is of robust construction and features a fully floating tandem axle for better boom stability.
All units are made to order and can be designed and built to meet each grower’s specific systems, with the option for up to 8 application outlets.
For more information on the Bio Applicator, please phone the office on 01580 712200 or email email@example.com.