Nufarm conducted two replicated fruit trials at the UK’s home of fruit research, East Malling, last summer at the Agrii fruit i-farm site on conference pears, and with experienced plant pathologist Angela Berrie, on gala apples at NIAB EMR.
Both trials compared Boni Protect, chemical standards and programmes of both, between 3 and 1 week prior to harvest.
In both trials, fruit quality out of cold store in spring was generally good, with few rots – probably reflecting the dry, settled weather in late summer prior to harvest. There were encouraging indications of reduced rot levels from Boni Protect, comparable to the chemical standards – but these were not statistically significant from the relatively low fruit numbers in the small plot trials.
Richard Killian, Fruit agronomist and Tree fruit technical co-ordinator at Agrii, agrees that the results were encouraging, and is keen to work with Nufarm and growers with further monitoring on commercial farm scale.
Richard and a group of key Agrii fruit agronomists had a productive pre-season Technical Workshop with Nufarm and researches from Bioferm. They were impressed with Bioferm’s depth of knowledge and especially the range of trials experience and the strength and consistency of performance of Boni Protect as a biological product.
Boni Protect can be used up to 1 day before harvest. Furthermore, additional sprays of the product close to harvest have reduced rots further, especially in unsettled weather near picking.
Boni Protect nearly matched chemical standards across no less than 56 trials. Further data set’s from UK trials may be even more valuable for UK growers: Boni Protect can be used up to 1 day before harvest. Furthermore, additional sprays of the product close to harvest have reduced rots further, especially in unsettled weather near picking. This biological no–residue option close to harvest, can also help growers use conventional fungicides earlier to minimise risk of residues.
Richard and his colleagues look forward to developing these strategies with Boni Protect being available commercially this season.