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Journal Articles Crop Protection Year : 2024

Using microbial biocontrol for disease control in French vegetable production: An analysis of the perspectives of farmers and farm advisors

Abstract

Microbial biocontrol products are increasingly available as alternative solutions to chemical control for the management of vegetable diseases. However, their use is still limited. A study was carried out to analyse this situation and identify the needs and limits encountered by users of biocontrol agents, with the goal of suggesting potential ways of improvement. A survey of French vegetable farmers and farm advisors was therefore conducted. First, online questionnaires were disseminated to more than 500 professionals, with queries on their use of biocontrol products, targeted diseases, and perceived efficacy. In a second step, face-to-face interviews were performed with 42 of the 217 respondents, to obtain in-depth technical information about successes and difficulties encountered by users in the implementation of biocontrol. The answers to the online questionnaires highlighted that only few biocontrol products were known and used, and their efficacy was perceived as low by users. This diagnosis was confirmed by the face-to-face interviews. While users showed awareness of the benefits of applying biocontrol products to manage plant diseases, they also reported that unstable efficacy, together with difficulties in using biocontrol along with other cultural practices, resulted in questionable interest. More than 85 % of the users expressed the need for additional technical benchmarks on the efficacy of marketed biocontrol products and for practical guidelines helping to choose the most adequate products for specific situations and to obtain information about the most efficient way to use biocontrol solution. Propositions are made to address the needs of users and to foster a wider use of microbial biocontrol agents in vegetable crops.
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Dates and versions

hal-04541729 , version 1 (11-04-2024)

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Thomas Pressecq, Philippe C. Nicot, Jean-François Bourgeay, Aurélie Rousselin, Claire Goillon, et al.. Using microbial biocontrol for disease control in French vegetable production: An analysis of the perspectives of farmers and farm advisors. Crop Protection, 2024, 180, pp.106648. ⟨10.1016/j.cropro.2024.106648⟩. ⟨hal-04541729⟩
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