Zero waste biological control in citrus fruits
At GAMBÍN, citrus growers and exporters from Spain, we are firmly committed to the environment, its natural cycles and the rational and sustainable use of natural resources.
For a long time, we have been committed to zero-waste agriculture through "biological pest control". This is a control strategy in which populations of natural enemies (parasitoids, predators or pathogens) are used to reduce the population of a pest to below an economic threshold of damage.
In this way, we are moving away from an agricultural production system based on a high consumption of inputs, external to the natural production system, such as conventional chemical phytosanitary products, which are increasingly restrictive and with fewer authorised active ingredients. At the same time, we are satisfying the ever-growing demand of consumers, who prefer more natural citrus fruits and therefore without residues.
Shifting mindsets in crop management
One cannot talk about biological control without talking about a change of attitude in crop management, since biological control cannot be used in the same way as chemical control: this is neither possible nor viable. Therefore, for the release of natural enemies, an important preliminary work of pest monitoring is carried out by our field team. Thanks to the development of such monitoring, we are able to carry out releases at an early stage and before we start to see the economic thresholds of damage.
Our biological pest control is based on a method called "flooding", which consists of releasing large numbers of natural enemies, introduced for the reduction of the damaging agent's population when economic damage levels are reached. These introductions are carried out repeatedly and with high quantities of the enemy for a sufficient control of the pest.