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BIOVITAMINA. Biological direct control methods for defense, aimed at reducing Asian bed bug biotic potential

BIOVITAMINA aims to evaluate insecticidal activity of natural pyrethrins integrated by Orange Essential Oil and various “plant defense enhancers”, for a direct defense against Halomorpha halys to limit the biotic potential of the pest with field tests on pear and tomato, in organic and integrated farms.

BIOVITAMINA also provides for the application of entomopathogenic microorganisms (biological control with natural antagonists), important natural regulators of insect populations. These products represent a small part of the biopesticides market, or more commonly called BCA (Bio Control Agents), to prefer to chemical control, because H. halys is extraordinarily adaptable and increasingly resistant to the various synthetic products. The products not yet registered for use against H. halys, will only be assessed in the laboratory and at test centres, and it will be assessed the possible authorization path.

It is also planned to monitor hedges and grassing on farms, to assess the interconnection between the presence of H. halys and the plant communities present since the typical agro-ecological approach of organic agriculture implies the proactive use of functional biodiversity for agricultural systems.

Exploiting the natural dynamics of ecosystems and drawing on the products allowed for organic food to combat H. halys can be a useful remedy not only for organic agriculture but also for the integrated agriculture sector.

Expected results

Expected results: being able to demonstrate that the use of products allowed in organic agriculture, such as natural pyrethrins, orange essential oil and plant defence enhancers, will allow a more effective direct defense against H. halys compared to chemical synthesis products, also in integrated farms. This will allow to do not to alter the ecosystem and favour biological control interventions such as the use of entomopathogenic microorganisms that can infect a large number of individuals, contributing to the enhancement of functional biodiversity aimed at reach a balance; with a reduction in the number of treatments used and favouring the maintenance of indigenous competitors.

Description of activities. The operational plan includes:

  • Preparatory and instrumental activities, aimed to the correct execution of experimental and open field activities; realization of experimental fields for the evaluation of defence assessment against H. halys;
  • Implementation and data collection activities aimed to carry out field experiment and evaluation path of possible authorization of some products;
  • Training and dissemination activities: farmers will benefit from the training service related to the project. The dissemination activities of the results will be included in annual and end-of-project reports.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Nicola Stanzani (FederBio Servizi Srl)

SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT: Prof. Emanuele Mazzoni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza)

Project ID: 5158736

Start of the activities: 11/2020 End of the activities 11/2023

Project budget: € 327.580,28

Funding: € 296.293,66

PARTNER: FederBio Servizi S.r.l., Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC, ), Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard, Open Fields Srl, Pizzacchera farm, Ecoter farm, Cornacchia Fabiano farm and Centoform.

Website European Commission – FEASR