Roeselare, Belgium
Roeselare, Belgium
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Beck B.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Brusselman E.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Nuyttens D.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Moens M.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | And 5 more authors.
Pest Management Science | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Steinernema carpocapsae Weiser, an entomopathogenic nematode (EPN), is a potential biological control agent for the cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae L.). This research aimed to identify a suitable spray application technique, and to determine whether yeast extract added to an EPN spray has an attracting and/or a feeding stimulant effect on M. brassicae. The biological control capabilities of EPN against this pest were examined in the field. RESULTS: Good coverage of the underside of cauliflower leaves, the habitat of young instar larvae (L1-L4) of M. brassicae was obtained using different spray boom configurations with vertical extensions that carried underleaf spraying nozzles. One of the configurations was selected for field testing with an EPN spray. Brewer's yeast extract stimulated larval feeding on leaves, and increased the mortality of these larvae when exposed to EPN. The field trial showed that a spray application with S. carpocapsae, Addit and xanthan gum can effectively lower the numbers of cabbage heads damaged by M. brassicae. Brewer's yeast extract did not significantly increase this field performance of EPN. CONCLUSION: Steinernema carpocapsae, applied with an appropriate spray technique, can be used within biological control schemes as part of a resistance management programme for Bt.© 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

Vermeulen K.,Ghent University | Aerts J.-M.,Catholic University of Leuven | Dekock J.,Catholic University of Leuven | Bleyaert P.,Inagro | And 2 more authors.
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2012

In order to detect biotic and abiotic stress at leaf level thermal indices based on leaf temperature measurements have been commonly used. The application of these indices within glasshouse crops is, however, restricted due to the specific humid conditions and the large spatial variability of irradiance and air temperature inside a glasshouse. In this study, a novel diagnostic algorithm is proposed as an alternative method to automatically monitor the leaf temperature of a glasshouse tomato crop based on the ecophysiological interactions between a leaf and its surrounding microclimate. Given that this algorithm is intended to be implemented as a software tool in glasshouse climate control systems, a critical overview of all relevant equations found in literature was first given. Next, the most appropriate equations were selected by using two objective criteria, i.e. the commonly used R 2 and the less conventional Young Information Criterion, which also takes into account the complexity of an algorithm, so that the most feasible algorithm for automated monitoring purposes was built. Our results also showed that an in situ calibration of the selected algorithm was needed, for which a novel procedure was proposed. Once calibrated, this algorithm successfully simulated the leaf temperature of a well-watered tomato plant during several days given that the environmental conditions in its microclimate were accurately measured. Finally, the 95% confidence limits on the leaf temperature simulations provided the requested dynamic thresholds necessary for an effective automated monitoring tool. It was demonstrated that by using this novel diagnostic algorithm unexpected and likely harmful stomatal closure can be detected before visual signs of turgidity loss are observed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Beck B.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Brusselman E.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Nuyttens D.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Moens M.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | And 4 more authors.
Biocontrol Science and Technology | Year: 2013

This study explores the influence of a selection of adjuvants and of three different nozzle sizes on the foliar application of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs). Two EPN species were studied: Steinernema feltiae and Steinernema carpocapsae. A viability test of EPNs suspended in different solutions of adjuvants showed that all selected alcohol ethoxylates and an alkyl polysaccharide have an immobilising effect on the selected nematode species. In a sedimentation test, xanthan gum proved to be the only adjuvant in a broad selection, capable of delaying sedimentation of EPNs in suspension. Without xanthan gum, sedimentation of S. carpocapsae and S. feltiae was noticeable after 20 and 10 minutes, respectively. When xanthan gum (0.3 g/L) was added to the suspension, no signs of sedimentation were noticed after 20 minutes with both EPN species. An ISO 02 flat fan nozzle can clog when spraying S. carpocapsae. A deposition test determined that an ISO 04 standard flat fan nozzle provides a higher relative deposition on cauliflower leaves and is therefore a better nozzle choice than the bigger ISO 08 standard flat fan nozzle for spraying S. carpocapsae. The addition of a spreading agent improved the deposition of S. carpocapsae. Adding xanthan gum to the EPN-spreading agent mixtures did not further improve deposition. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Franca S.C.,Ghent University | Spiessens K.,Proefstation voor de Groenteteelt | Pollet S.,Inagro | Debode J.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | And 3 more authors.
Crop Protection | Year: 2013

Verticillium wilt, caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium longisporum, leads to economic losses in cauliflower production in Belgium. Development of sustainable control measures of the disease is necessary. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that incorporation of ryegrass can reduce the viability of V.longisporum microsclerotia in soil. However, field experiments are lacking in Belgian conditions. To gain knowledge about the population dynamics of V.longisporum and its relationship with Verticillium wilt, experiments were conducted from 2006 to 2010 in two cauliflower fields (Oppuurs and Ardooie) with history of Verticillium wilt. Three main crop systems (fallow, cauliflower and cauliflower followed by removal of debris) and two cover crop systems (no cover crop and ryegrass) were tested. The results of this study showed that (i) crop rotation intensity of cauliflower cultivation does not affect the inoculum density of microsclerotia forming Verticillium species in soil, (ii) amendment of lignin-rich ryegrass may reduce the soil inoculum, and (iii) seasonal fluctuations of inoculum densities occur but any soil inoculum variation above a level of one microsclerotium per gram of soil does not affect disease levels. Furthermore, we found that Verticillium wilt of cauliflower in Ardooie was reduced in soil containing Verticillium tricorpus-like organisms. The Verticillium isolate Vt305 obtained from the cauliflower field in Ardooie was morphologically similar to V.tricorpus, but its rDNA ITS region showed 100% identity with the non-pathogenic species Verticillium isaacii, recently described in literature. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Beck B.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Spanoghe P.,Ghent University | Moens M.,Belgium Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research | Moens M.,Ghent University | And 4 more authors.
Pest Management Science | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: The potential of the entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) Steinernema feltiae Filipjev as a biocontrol agent against the cabbage maggot Delia radicum (L.), was assessed in three field tests, focusing on EPN dosage, application technique and timing. RESULTS: Spraying cabbage plant trays with different doses of infective juveniles (IJs) (50 000, 100 000 and 200 000 per plant) generated a similar reduction of plant mortality. Spraying plant trays with 200 000 IJs of Steinernema feltiae per plant temporarily reduced the number of maggots around the plants' roots, while neither spraying a lower dose (50 000 IJs/plant) nor soil drenching with 200000 or 50000 IJs/plant) reduced maggot numbers. When applied as a plant tray spray, IJs of S. feltiae took 1-2weeks to spread through the soil surrounding the roots. The pathogenicity of the EPNs, as evaluated by a Galleria mellonella bait test, was highest (up to 100% mortality) until up to five weeks after application, and declined to control levels after 4-7weeks. Follow-up drench applications with EPNs, applied one and/or two weeks after the first EPN application, did not influence control of Delia radicum. CONCLUSION: Plant tray spraying provides better placement of Steinernema feltiae than soil drench treatments for control of Delia radicum. Plant mortality was not dose-dependent in the presented trials, unlike the reduction of maggot numbers. Further research into timing and application technique of follow-up treatments with S. feltiae is required to increase efficacy to commercial standards. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: RUR-10-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

Agroforestry (AF) is the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. Research activities developed by AFINET partners indicates that appropriate application of AF principles and practices is a key avenue to help the European Union to achieve more sustainable methods of food and fibre production, producing both profits for farmers and environmental benefits. However up to now exists a lack of AF knowledge among end-users that prevent the correct implementation of these practices. In this sense AFINET will act at EU level in order to take up research results into agricultural practice, improving knowledge exchange between scientists and practitioners on AF activities, with a special focus on silvoarable and silvopastoral systems design, management, and production and profitability. To achieve this objective AFINET consortium proposes an innovative methodology based on: (i) The creation of a EU reservoir of scientific and practical knowledge of AF with an end-user-friendly access (the Knowledge Cloud). (ii) The creation of a European Interregional network (composed of Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks - RAINs) considering a multi-actor approach (including farmers, policy makers, advisory services, extension services, etc.), and articulated through the figure of the Innovation Broker. These RAINs groups will be interconnected in nine strategic regions of Europe from Spain, UK, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Poland, France and Finland, representing different climatic, geographical, social, and cultural conditions at European level. In addition, to create a greater user acceptance of the collected solutions and an intensive dissemination to end-users, AFINET will be linked to other networks, initiatives and policy instruments at regional, national and European level with a specific focus on the EIP-AGRI implementation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.WATER INNO&DEMO-1 | Award Amount: 9.23M | Year: 2014

The objective of INAPRO is to mobilise industry, member states and stakeholders to promote a new and innovative technical and technological approach right up to an Aquaponic system which allows a nearly emission free sustainable production and contributes remarkably to global food security for the 21st century. Considering that traditional Aquaponic systems, combining aquaculture and hydroponics, have a great potential in saving water and energy and recovering nutrients from wastewater by value chains, the project aims at a real breakthrough for these systems towards commercialization. This will be achieved by a) the model based optimisation of the system concept in respect to water consumption and quality, environmental impact, waste avoidance, CO2 release and nutrient recycling, energy efficiency, management efforts and finally costs and b) the integration of new technologies containing cutting edge approaches such as: 1) innovative one-way water supply for horticulture and water retrieval by condensation, 2) alternative water and energy sources, 3) optimized filter systems, 4) intelligent sensor and management network for an optimized system construction and operation. The viability of INAPRO systems will be proved in concept-based demonstration projects both in rural and in urban areas that offer a potential economic advantage while simultaneously reducing water and carbon footprint. The dissemination activities (to policy, public and end-users) will open new market opportunities and improve market access inside and outside Europe for producers and technology suppliers. These ambitions meet perfectly with the EU strategies under Europe 2020 to face the challenges of dramatic water resource developments in Europe and worldwide. The project supports particularly the Innovation Union with the EIP Water as one key initiative and further the Common Agricultural Policy and will consequently be closely connected to an EIP Action Group in agricultural water management.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-5-01 | Award Amount: 7.58M | Year: 2010

VEG-i-TRADE provides platforms to identify impacts of anticipated climate change and globalisation on food safety, microbiological and chemical hazards, of fresh produce and derived food products. Control measures of managerial and technological nature will be developed in the supply chain of crop production, post-harvest processing and logistics to minimize food safety risks. The assessment of the performance of horticultural safety management systems by a novel diagnostic instrument at EU level exemplified by several countries in Europe and tailored on a global level including major EU trade partners from various climate zones will lead to recommendations on European and global level on quality assurance and the setting of science-based performance objectives. VEG-i-TRADE will pro-actively invest in problem solving technologies for safe produce investigating aspects of water quality and water treatment, horticultural production practices, disinfection treatment and packaging technologies. These control measures will be exploited in collaboration with SMEs and industrial partners. Baseline studies on the hazards, intervention technologies and best practices in the fresh produce chain will provide input for both microbial and chemical risk assessment to elaborate support to risk-based sampling plans, evaluate the risks of newly identified threats as affected by the global trade system and anticipated climate change. The project output will craft a discussion forum for stakeholders in the global food chain reflecting on issues of acceptable risk, sustainability of fresh produce production and long term strategy of international food trade, while making no compromise in food safety for European consumers and in respectation of food sovereignty. Risk communication to increase awareness of trade partners production systems and the uneven consumer behaviour will provide key conditions for prioritisation of risk management strategies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2011-2 | Award Amount: 3.42M | Year: 2012

The mushroom industry SME AGs across Europe have come together to request the main research providers of applied mushroom research in Europe to conduct research on Trichoderma and Virus, two major problems for the industry. Disease control has been compromised by the withdrawal of key pesticides and disinfectants by the EU in recent years, such as the withdrawal of approval for formaldehyde as a disinfectant and carbendazim fungicide for Trichoderma control. The Mushroom SME AGs want to know what their members must do to prevent and / or control outbreaks of Trichoderma and Virus. Disease control must now be based on a sustainable integrated pest management system (IPM). IPM focuses on combining (i) improved hygiene procedures (ii) knowledge of how individual diseases and pests spread within and between crops (epidemiology), (iii) improved diagnostics and (iv) optimum use of available products to control and reduce the incidence of disease. This project aims to provide research-based solutions for the mushroom industry to deal with these two relatively new major diseases affecting production. Application of the solutions developed by this project to the European mushroom industry will reduce crop losses and increase efficiency and competitiveness. During the project we will (1) generate technical research-based information on how Trichoderma and MVX grow, survive and spread in mushroom compost in order to identify the weak links in the chain and the steps needed to strengthen them; (2) screen and evaluate alternative disinfectant and biocontrol products for use in disease prevention and control programmes; (3) identify, characterise and quantify the presence of pathogens on mushroom farms and compost facilities across Europe over a period of up to 12 months, using the most up to date technologies; (4) work towards identifying diagnostics service provider(s) who will offer new diagnostic tests, developed during the project, to SME AG members; (5) compile key results into Technical Factsheets for SME AGs to distribute to their members and (6) hold seminars, workshops and conferences organised by SME AGs for their members. In the region of 300\ SME mushroom growers and composters will benefit from the results and this will lead to reduced disease incidence and associated costs savings among a large group of SMEs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: IoT-01-2016 | Award Amount: 34.71M | Year: 2017

The IoF2020 project is dedicated to accelerate adoption of IoT for securing sufficient, safe and healthy food and to strengthen competitiveness of farming and food chains in Europe. It will consolidate Europes leading position in the global IoT industry by fostering a symbiotic ecosystem of farmers, food industry, technology providers and research institutes. The IoF2020 consortium of 73 partners, led by Wageningen UR and other core partners of previous key projects such as FIWARE and IoT-A, will leverage the ecosystem and architecture that was established in those projects. The heart of the project is formed by 19 use cases grouped in 5 trials with end users from the Arable, Dairy, Fruits, Vegetables and Meat verticals and IoT integrators that will demonstrate the business case of innovative IoT solutions for a large number of application areas. A lean multi-actor approach focusing on user acceptability, stakeholder engagement and sustainable business models will boost technology and market readiness levels and bring end user adoption to the next stage. This development will be enhanced by an open IoT architecture and infrastructure of reusable components based on existing standards and a security and privacy framework. Anticipating vast technological developments and emerging challenges for farming and food, the 4-year project stays agile through dynamic budgeting and adaptive decision-making by an implementation board of representatives from key user organizations. A 6 M mid-term open call will allow for testing intermediate results and extending the project with technical solutions and test sites. A coherent dissemination strategy for use case products and project learnings supported by leading user organizations will ensure a high market visibility and an increased learning curve. Thus IoF2020 will pave the way for data-driven farming, autonomous operations, virtual food chains and personalized nutrition for European citizens.

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