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M3 Agriculture Technologies Beneficial Insect Release Program (BIR) Partnered with Koppert Biological Systems

Thursday May 16th, 2024

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In 2023, M3 Agriculture Technologies partnered with Koppert Biological Systems (Koppert US) to launch an innovative beneficial insect release program in California. This collaboration leverages M3’s cutting-edge drone technology and Koppert’s superior biological solutions to revolutionize pest management in agriculture.

Pioneering Biological Pest Control Products

Koppert Biological Systems has been at the forefront of developing natural pest control solutions since 1967, beginning with the rearing of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Over the decades, Koppert has perfected the art of breeding a wide array of natural enemies and holds several patents in this field. Known for their stability in breeding, quality, reliability, and secure delivery, Koppert’s commitment to advancing sustainable agriculture is renowned globally. Their methods ensure that growers can effectively introduce these biological solutions into their crops, optimizing performance and reducing dependency on chemical pesticides.

The Role of Predatory Mites in Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Predatory mites are tiny, beneficial arthropods crucial for managing and reducing populations of harmful pests in various agricultural and horticultural settings. These natural predators target plant-feeding mites and insects such as spider mites, whiteflies, and thrips, making them essential components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. IPM emphasizes sustainable, long-term pest control solutions that minimize the use of harmful chemicals, promoting healthier crops and ecosystems.

Persimilis & Strawberries

The partnership between M3 Agriculture Technologies and Koppert Biological Systems has specifically targeted the thriving strawberry market. By combining M3’s advanced drone technology with Koppert’s proven persimilis, the program aims to enhance pest control efficiency and crop health in strawberries. Since its inception, the program has treated thousands of acres using M3’s aerial drone technology, providing numerous advantages over traditional hand-release methods. M3’s dedication to application science sets them apart from other drone competitors.

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Advantages of Aerial Drone Release

  1. Timely and Precise Distribution: Drones ensure that predatory mites are distributed quickly and accurately across vast agricultural fields with precision.
  2. Labor Efficiency: Aerial release by drones significantly reduces the labor required for pest control, freeing up valuable resources for other critical farm operations.
  3. Reduced Physical Strain: Traditional hand release methods can be labor-intensive and physically demanding. In some cases, laborers cannot physically enter the fields. Drones eliminate the need for manual application, reducing the physical strain on workers.
  4. Uniform Coverage: Drones can cover large areas uniformly, ensuring that beneficial insects are evenly distributed, which is critical for effective pest management.
  5. Cost-Effective Applications: Utilizing drones for insect release is more cost-effective compared to manual methods. The efficiency and speed of drone applications reduce labor costs and operational expenses, making it a financially viable option for large-scale pest control.
  6. Environmentally Friendly: By reducing the need for chemical pesticides, drone-based biological pest control promotes a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to agriculture.

State-of-the-Art Hopper Technology

A critical component of our Beneficial Insect Release program is Koppert’s state-of-the-art Natutec Release System. This advanced hopper holds the mites and releases them into the fields as the drones fly. With precise control over the amount of material released per acre, the hopper adjusts the release rates based on the drone's speed at all times to ensure equal distribution. This technology enhances precision, efficiency, and effectiveness in our pest control efforts.

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Introducing Green Lacewing Larvae

In addition to the persimilis program, M3 Agriculture Technologies and Koppert Biological Systems are excited to announce the launch of a new product and service: Chrysoperla larvae, the green lacewing! Initial applications begin this summer, 2024. Green lacewings are highly effective predators of a wide range of soft-bodied pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. Introducing the larvae instead of eggs has proven to be far more advantageous. By incorporating green lacewing larvae into our pest management solutions, we offer growers an additional powerful tool to protect their crops sustainably and effectively. This new service enhances our commitment to providing comprehensive and environmentally friendly pest control options.

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The partnership between M3 Agriculture Technologies and Koppert Biological Systems represents a significant advancement in sustainable agriculture. By integrating drone technology with biological pest control, the Beneficial Insect Release (BIR) program is setting new standards for efficiency, precision, and environmental stewardship. This innovative approach not only supports healthier crop production but also contributes to the broader goal of sustainable and resilient agricultural systems.

For more information about our Beneficial Insect Release program and how it can benefit your crops, please contact Derek Bell - Manager of Business Development

Derek Bell

(559) 313-3646