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Biological control and beneficial insect-attracting plants

Montserrat Matas Oliveras

Baix Maresme Plant Protection Association (ADV)

Biological control and beneficial insect-attracting plants 
Montserrat Matas Oliveras
Baix Maresme Plant Protection Association (ADV), Mercat Flor i Planta Ornamental de Catalunya. Ctra. N-II, Km 639, 08340 Vilassar de Mar (Barcelona)

Biological control of tomato pests in the Maresme area has been carried out since 1987, when the Baix Maresme Plant Protection Association was set up. Biological control is the primary protection tool in the integrated pest management (IPM) programmes implemented, following research carried out by the IRTA (Institute of Food and Agricultural Research and Technology).

Biological control and beneficial insect-attracting plants 
Montserrat Matas Oliveras
Baix Maresme Plant Protection Association (ADV), Mercat Flor i Planta Ornamental de Catalunya. Ctra. N-II, Km 639, 08340 Vilassar de Mar (Barcelona)

Biological control of tomato pests in the Maresme area has been carried out since 1987, when the Baix Maresme Plant Protection Association was set up. Biological control is the primary protection tool in the integrated pest management (IPM) programmes implemented, following research carried out by the IRTA (Institute of Food and Agricultural Research and Technology). 
A conservation programme for native mirids, primarily Macrolophus pygmaeus, is currently underway. The success of this programme is borne out by the rising percentage of plots on which biological control, rather than chemical control, is applied. In 2003, 84 plots out of 125 (67%) were managed using biological control, whereas in 2014, biological control was used on 100% of the 81 tomato crop plots of the plant protection association.
Improved biological control based on conservation currently entails planting beneficial insect-attracting plants on plots. The plants used are Ononis natrix and Calendula officinalis as host plants of M. pygmaeus. Trials are currently underway using C. officinalis as a shelter plant and as a bridge plant to host M. pygmaeus between successive tomato crops, both with good results. Managing shelter plants can create extra work for farmers, although they are willing to accept this to reduce production costs. The density of plants required per unit of tomato surface area has yet to be assessed.
Lastly, planting Lobularia maritima around lettuce crops has proven to be highly effective in the conservation of syrphid predators of the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri, which control aphid populations in spring. 

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In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.