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Herbie new agent against fusarium?

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Herbie new agent against fusarium?

Dutch lettuce growers still experience major problems with fusarium. Henk Meints from Thatchtec hopes to be able to offer them good news soon. Italian research shows that the biological agent Herbie can kill spores of fusarium in the ground.

It is all about bacteria in the Soil Resetting process. The soil is disinfected in a non-chemical way thanks to the bacteria. The process is as follows. The vegetal agent Herbie 72 is dug into the ground. The soil is well moistened and then the soil remains covered for a few weeks and kept at a minimum temperature of 16 degrees. The released bacteria ‘disinfect’ the soil.

Ever since the development in 2010, Henk has been busy with the agent. Now he has received surprising results from Italy. The Cersaa institute has conducted research into this. “Firstly, now also third parties have proven that the Soil Resetting still works at low doses, like 5 tons Herbie per hectare instead of 20”, Henk shows. “That, of course, makes a big difference in expenses.”

Nice to know, but Henk is even much more happy with the result on Fusarium oxysporum. “The Italian tests have shown that even the hard to deal with chlamydospores can be killed, even at an extensive contamination,” he tells. The Italians did research on the variant in tomatoes. Meanwhile, similar results are achieved in the Philippines with the banana variety.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, fusarium is of course mainly a problem for lettuce growers. Does it work there too? “In any case, we have a serious and proven opportunity”, says Henk reservedly. He is now looking for players in the sector to further investigate this. “It depends entirely how the Dutch growers react and whether they have confidence in Soil Resetting. Two years ago this was not (yet) the case. Soon he will talk to a Wageningen researcher who has received EZ lettuce-budget and is now developing plans. “She herself did not know that we had already progressed that far and is keen to know more about it.”

Meanwhile, the research also continues in Italy. Together with CBC Biogard (an investor in the Italian CERSAA research), Thatchec is going to work on the roll-out in the Italian market. For next year, four demos in vegetables are on the program.

Publication date: 11/23/2017

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