Due to the continuous harvest of strawberries during the season, the basic food safety challenge to all growers is the rational use of pesticides.
Magrabi Agriculture has set a clear policy, and implements an integrated pest management plan that aims at the reduction of pesticides.
Within this plan, a predators propagation unit was established in 1999 for phytoseiulus persimilis, which is used to control the two-spot spider mite which attacks the strawberry fields.
As soon as the strawberry scouting team state that the population of the spider mite has reached its set limit, the predators unit releases sufficient counts of phytoseiulus persimilis into the fields so that they can feed on the mite thus reducing its presence to acceptable levels.
Such investment and technique has reduced the use of acaricides to control the two spot mite from an average of 1 litre/acre to 0.1 litre/acre only as it is only used in plots where the predators are unable to create the required balance.
Natural predators reduced the application of acaricides by 70% in Magrabi Agriculture's strawberry farm.