Project

Targeted control and improved pollination in organic crop protection (Bicopoll) within the Core Organic II Eranet

Duration
01 September 2011 → 31 August 2014
Promotor
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Plant biology
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural plant production
    • Horticultural production
Keywords
pollination in crop protection
 
Project description

Organic berry and fruit production suffers heavily from the lack of effective disease and pest management tools, and from inadequate insect pollination at times. As a consequence, the expanding demand on organic berries cannot be filled today, BICOPOLL expects to change this, and to significantly improve the yield and quality of organic fruit and berry production and thus, farm economics. We will use bees to target deliver biological control agents to the flowers of the target crops to provide control of problem disease (or pests), and to improve the pollination of organic horticultural crops. BICOPOLL will provide a pan-European case study on protecting organic strawberry from its most important disease, the grey mould. In addition we will improve the efficiency of the entomovector technology via innovative research on bee management, manipulation of bee behavior, components of the cropping system, and on the plant-pathogent-vector-antagonist -system, and will investigate possibilities of expanding the use of the concept into other organic berry and fruit growing systems. This is a highly innovative approach to solving some of the most difficult disease and pest problems in organic berry and fruit production, offering solutions in areas where no solutions as yet exist. The entomovector approach represents the only significant breakthrough in sight for improving plant protection in organic cropping systems, particularly in high-value crops. BICOPOLL brings together for the first time the fragmented research in the area, where wmall groups have worked on their own. We investigate, exploit, and support the natural ecological functions of biocontrol and pollination, and enhance these via innovative management. The entomovector technology contributes to improved resource use and efficiency in production, and enhances local biodiversity unlike most other plant protection systems. The main target groups of the BICOPOLL project are organic strawberry growers, other organic berry and fruit growers, as well as beekeepers and their organizations, to whom technology and knowledge transfer will be implemented during the project via direct contacts.