VENUE: SHAGUN LAWNS, PIMPALGAON, NASHIK
DATE: 7TH AUGUST 2014.
TIME: EVENING 4 PM TO 8 PM.
PARTICIPANTS: OVER 120 COMPRISING MOSTLY OF GROWERS, GRAPE CONSULTANTS, BIOLOGICAL CONTROL EXPERTS FROM NASHIK AND RAIGARH. ALSO FROM WINERIES SUCH AS GROVERS AND OTHER COMPANIES ENGAGED IN PEST MANAGEMENT SUCH AS IPL, PCI.
Prior to the seminar, the expert team of BioBee led by Mr. Moshe, Mr. Rami Friedman and Mr. Zafrir Bar were in the vineyards to get a first -hand knowledge of the current situation in the vineyards. Mr. Moshe observed and showed the growers that both the species of mealy bugs, The Citrus mealy bug and the Pink mealy bug were already present in sufficient numbers. This could mean that irrespective of the treatments the growers might take, there would be sufficient populations of these pests available to cause enormous damage during December-January. The growers agreed that the high population and activity of ants observed in the vineyards could only add more worries. The team suggested that immediate elimination of ants should be a priority and the Bio control agents (BCAs) could only be applied once this is achieved. The team suggested that it is the right time to start working with the application of BioBee’s BCAs namely, Bio Anagyrus and Bio Cryptolaemus.
Mr. Zafrir showed the growers the stem borer infestation symptoms in the vineyards. He demonstrated the application techniques of the EPNs to such infested stems. The growers were advised to take up the applications when they observed fresh damage sometime during October-November.
The seminar evoked a good response. It was the third seminar since the first in July 2013. More than 120 people comprising mostly of growers, consultants, biological control experts and representatives from Winery and companies engaged in bio pesticides participated in the seminar.
Mr. Rami Friedman gave an overview of BioBee and its activities around the world.
Mr. Moshe and Mr. Ajit gave an elaborate presentation of the facts on the mealy bugs and their management in grapes. The presentations brought in a lot of facts from the experience of the last year’s pilots. Mr. Moshe stressed about the presence of many natural parasites and predators in the ecosystem locally which could only further build up thereby complimenting the BCAs applied to a great extent. The growers were informed that this could be achieved by not indiscriminately spraying harsh pesticides early in the season against the mealy bugs observed now.
Mr. Zafrir Bar spoke about the experiences of BioBee in dealing with the cryptic pest Red Palm Weevil in dates and other palms using Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). He drew a parallel of the RPW to the serious grape stem borer problem and how the EPNs could be a solution to the grape stem borers too. There was lot of interest among the participants in the grape stem borer management using EPNs.
Two growers, Mr. Manik Rao Patil (Khedgaon) and Mr. Arun More (Pimpalgaon) who provided BioBee an opportunity to demonstrate the success of BioBee’s IPM program in 2013 using BCAs were felicitated on the occasion.
Mr. Anil proposed the vote of thanks after an interaction session in which many queries raised by the growers were satisfactorily addressed. One interesting query from a grower was whether our products were genetically modified organisms to which we replied in the negative.