Dr. Annette Herz,
Julius Kühn-Institut - Bundesforschungsinstitut für Kulturpflanzen (JKI),
Institut für Biologischen Pflanzenschutz,
Heinrichstr. 243, 64287 Darmstadt,
Tel. 06151-407236, Fax 06151-407290

Dr. Ralf-Udo Ehlers
(Projektgruppe Entomopathogene Nematoden),
Universität Kiel, Institut für Phytopathologie,
Abt. Biotechnologie und biologischer Pflanzenschutz,
Klausdorfer-Straße 28-38, 24223 Raisdorf,
Tel. 04307/839833, Fax 04307/839834



Farm arthropods and entomopathogenic nematodes

The 30. meeting of the joint DPG-DGaaE study group took place on 29.-30.11.2011 at Geisenheim Research Institute, Von-Lade-Str. 1, 65366, Geisenhem. It was hosted by the professor Annette Reineke and the Geisenheim colleagues.

The joint study group is supported by both German Phytomedicine Society (DPG) and German Society of General and Applied Entomology (DGaaE). The abstracts of the meeting reports are published in DGaaE-Nachrichten and Phytomedizin. The study group meets annually with 30 to 50 persons attending.

Various topics of biology, behavior and field monitoring of farm organisms are discussed, as well as approaches to protection, promotion of mass production of beneficial organisms and entomopathogenic nematodes.

The application of farm organisms became increasingly important in the last years. While 1980 no companies in FRG specialized in commercial mass production, now there are 12 firms producing/selling 60 different species of beneficial arthropods and 3 of entomopathogenic nematodes for application in biological plant protection.



Statement of the members of the study group “Farm arthropods and entomopathogenic nematodes”

November 20. and 21. 2007, ca. 30 professionals met in Cardinal Döpfner House  in Freising for the 26. Workshop of the study group “Farm arthropods and entomopathogenic nematodes” of the German Phytomedicine Society (DPG) and German Society of General and Applied entomology (DGaaE). On this occasion, the following statement was written.

The biological plant protection is one of the most important components of the integrated plant protection in horticulture as well as in agriculture, hops culture and forestry. Particularly organic farming with its limited spectrum of plant protection agents should have a special interest in biological control techniques.

Biological techniques are mostly considered as ecologically compatible and contribute a lot to the protection of the biodiversity in agricultural communities. In this regard it is appropriate to point at the “2008 – the year of biodiversity” in the EU and the UN Biodiversity Conference in May 2008 in Bonn. The further development and application of biological techniques also promote the goals of the Reduction Program Chemical Protection and the current plant protection policy of the EU, as not only reduction of chemical agent application is requested, but explicitly application of its alternatives.

All this requires good research and intensive consultations, and Germany has a strong tradition here. An efficient network developed within the highly graduated cooperation between all partners (BBA, Universities, plant protection offices and companies) – that is, however, now in danger to collapse. The members of the study group “Farm arthropods and entomopathogenic nematodes” of DPG and DGaaE are concerned with the abatement of capacities on the field of research and consultation on beneficial organisms and biological plant protection. They advocate promotion of research in this field to clearly enhance the application of biological techniques and to promote understanding and use of natural regulation mechanisms in agricultural and forest ecosystems. Only in this case there is a future for biological plant protection.

To intensify the research, more funding for projects and more positions, especially at Julius Kühn Institute, universities and institutes of the Federal States of Germany are needed and the young university and college graduates must be supported. Focal points of support of the biological plant protection must be established at DBU, BMELV, DFG and EU. Particularly the universities must take over the role of the driving force once again. To make the consultations more active, appropriate positions must be created at the plant protection bureaus of the Federal States and cooperation between the producers of beneficial organisms and other consulting services must be enhanced.

The members of the study group see a particular need to activate the research on this field; prolonged project terms are needed here due to complex interrelationships and complicated applications:

  • Investigation of interrelations between natural regulation, diversity and chemical plant protection in agricultural communities and deduction of general concepts
  • antagonists to introduced pests, as we cannot rely on chemical protection here due to established resistances
  • investigation of trophic interrelations for effective use of arthropods within the scope of an integrated management
  • application of biological techniques in the field
  • support of admission process of biological techniques, especially of the applicants by the risk assessment research (biosafety)
  • economic evaluation and sustainable financial stimulation of introduction and application of new biological techniques

The members of the study group are open to contribution and development of appropriate research, development and transformation programs.

The study group is organized in cooperation with the German Phytomedicine Society (DPG)