MADUMBI GREEN JERSEY AWARDS
KIRKWOOD – ETIENNE VAN GREUNEN
Sharing and recognising our partner success: InteliGro, Kirkwood
Kirkwood is well established as one of the largest, most concentrated citrus regions in the country and recognised as market leaders in the production of lemons.
Etienne van Greunen and the InteliGro Kirkwood team are highly regarded and respected in ‘the valley’, where they offer expert crop protection and crop production support to approximately 30 growers.
The majority of the Kirkwood growers are open to the use of biologicals and recognise the valuable contribution they add to IPM programs. With the implementation of stringent MRL limits on citrus crop exports, Etienne has devoted much time to researching and understanding the various biological options available to ensure yield volumes and quality are maintained, while meeting the MRL criteria.
A large contributor to the 2019 success was Eco-Bb® and Etienne is impressed with the results being achieved. He emphasises the importance of having a strong ‘program’, focusing on prevention rather than cure and aims to avoid last minute ‘fire-fighting’ towards the end of the season when fewer chemical solutions are viable.
Another key benefit of Eco-Bb® ‘in the field’ is that it can be applied and used in orchards where the beneficial insect Anagyrus spp has been introduced. As the move to more and more biologicals continues so too does the importance of using products that are complementary of one another. Etienne also mentioned that the use of Eco-Bb® has increased due to the reliable and accurate compatibility results that Madumbi can provide. The simpler ‘ease-of-use’ of the product, by incorporating Eco-Bb into existing tank mixes makes the decision to include a biological in the program that much easier.
During this past season, Etienne also achieved successful results using Bolldex® for African Bollworm control, early in the season. He explained that ‘understanding biologicals’ is key to managing grower expectations as after application the young worms were still evident and visible on the fruit for 2 – 3 days. However, despite being visible there was no further damage to the fruit. Education on the correct timing of the application is important. They needed only one application during the season last year.
Biostimulant products, V12 Multi and V12 Micro are commonly incorporated into foliar fertiliser programs in the valley. Eco-T also has a significant role to play as root health and soil conditioning have become a ‘big buzz word’ in the Kirkwood Valley. Most of the farms are well established or have been replanted over the years. The soils are typically poor and largely depleted of nutrition and minerals, so growers are actively looking to improve soil and root health with the Madumbi Root Health program as well as compost and mulching.
Challenges facing this area is the ongoing introduction of new, inferior biological products where claims are made but the support and results to back the claims are lacking. As the growth in awareness and acceptance of biologicals increases, Etienne expects this to continue.
A solid understanding of biologicals is critical in this industry. Understanding the significance of spore counts and product concentrations is essential to compare ‘apples with apples’ because often what you see is not always ‘what you get’.
A final note
In conclusion, Etienne is excited to be establishing a trial site where Madumbi products will be ‘put to the test’ along with a combination of other products. He believes that ‘seeing is believing’.
One of our biggest challenges with biologicals is to ‘keep the story simple’ and not be too technical. The science behind the product is extremely important, especially as mentioned, with all the new products being introduced – but at the end of the day, the farmer wants to ‘see’ what works. And we can’t wait to have a site, to show this to them.