In March 2021, Ammerlaan The Green Innovator in Pijnacker started using two PATS-C systems in two of its greenhouses. Monitoring of the insects went so well that systems were also installed in the other two sections in June.
Beneficial and harmful insects can be found among the plants on 6.5 hectares in this commercial nursery specializing in tropical green plants. The damage is often difficult to recognize because the insects can act differently depending on the plant species. Therefore, it may take some time before the presence of an unwanted insect is noticed. Insects should be closely monitored for a properly functioning IPM program. Previously, searching for insects required dozens of sticky traps and light traps that were checked and counted weekly. Crop manager Jan van der Arend compared these counts with the new data from PATS-C.
Prepare for the future now
“Intern Bas Krens, who studied HBO’s horticultural management program for higher education, suggested using PATS-C to monitor insect populations during an internship assignment,” said the cultivation supervisor. “We thought it would be an interesting idea to see if it would work for us. Especially because there is a trend in horticulture to use less artificial crop protection and we need to halve the use of pesticides by 2030. We can’t wait until the last minute. We have to prepare for the future.”
PATS-C provides insight into the flight movements of various insects and indicates when they will fly. Certain insect species do not fly when the sun comes up. They wait until after sunset or even after midnight when it’s really dark. Van der Arend added: “Our intention is to control the pests primarily through stricter hygiene measures, particularly by scouting out and discarding weaker plants. And while we’ve focused on more organic this year, there will still be a need to occasionally correct with chemical agents. That will involve trial and error.”
Data usage for control plan
The data from PATS-C is checked by several people in the company and the crop protection consultant. “Within the company we use the data in consultation with the growers for the right schedule and corrective action plan to control the pests according to the recommendations we receive. We have decided to install the PATS-C system in all our departments to monitor the entire nursery. We found that it worked and that was reason enough to expand the system in June,” says the cultivation manager.
The further development of the systems by PATS in hardware and software is based on observations from practice, which the plant manager appreciates very much.