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Bio-pesticides and biological control: a major step forward in crop protection

ECM’s latest innovation is in the use of biopesticides, crop protection materials that are derived from natural sources.

This advanced form of crop science is crucial to integrated crop management, where no harvest intervals, no LERAPs and safety to beneficial insects are of paramount importance.

The huge benefits of biopesticides, which include no residues and no need for resistance management, have convinced ECM to pioneer the application of this new technology. The company is both undertaking research of its own and adopting new products as soon as they are licensed for use.

Biopesticides represent a major step forward in crop protection. They support conventional technology and in particular prevent field margins from being left untreated, which can allow pest epidemics to re-infect the rest of the field.


This slug pellet based on naturally occurring Ferric Phosphate has given excellent slug control and has a very low impact on non-target organisms. As it has no buffer zone restrictions it can be used close to water and allows the margins of fields to be protected from slugs. It has proven a vital addition to the crop protection armoury as other products have been withdrawn.

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This biopesticide for the control of nematodes in carrots and parsnips (and under emergency measures potato cyst nematode) represents a major advance in the control of these serious pests with a product that has no harvest interval or residues within the produce. This innovative product will reverse the decline in options for nematode control and safeguard the future of the potato and carrot industry.

NEMguard works by damaging the cell membranes of the pest. The product is a result of extensive trials and development work. Its active crop protection ingredient – garlic extracts (Allium Sativum) – has been given Annex 1 listing in the EU as a nematicide.


As a biological fungicide based on Coniothryium Minitens, Contans controls sclerotinia in the soil. It does this by biologically neutralising resting bodies and preventing spore production and germination of this highly damaging fungus that can devastate the yields of oil seed rape.


Based on a bacterial strain of Bacillus Subtillus, this material damages fungal pathogen cells causing them to collapse and die. Serenade also triggers the plants own immune system enabling it to combat both fungal and bacterial attack. It is particularly good at controlling cavity spot in carrots compared to the conventional treatment that is twice as expensive.


Nemaslug is a unique product containing nematodes which seek out slugs and stop them feeding within 3 days. It is natural predator of slugs.

It controls slugs for up to 6 weeks and has no harvest interval, buffer zone restriction and no crop residues. It does not harm beneficial insects within the soil and poses no threat to birds eating slugs controlled by Nemaslug.