Adoption of biocontrol in vineyards: Insights from a NOVATERRA workshop in Bordeaux

During a recent NOVATERRA workshop organised by the French Wine and Vine Institute (IFV) and CORTEVA in Bordeaux, a survey was conducted among viticultural advisors in the sector. This survey aimed to assess the integration and perception of biocontrol methods in vineyard protection strategies.

All 42 advisors surveyed indicated that they recommend biocontrol solutions. The widespread recommendation of biocontrol reflects its integration into vineyard protection approaches. However, these strategies predominantly rely on sulfur for anti-oidium and phosphonates for anti-mildew, with limited use of other biocontrol agents.

Effectiveness Perception: 90% of respondents believe biocontrol is effective in reducing the use of traditional plant protection products. Despite this, most biocontrol solutions (excluding sulfur) are used in combination with conventional crop protection products to reduce dosage, with only 5% of respondents using biocontrols exclusively.

The primary barrier to broader adoption of biocontrol solutions other than sulfur and phosphonates is their perceived lack of efficacy. Advisors consider the integration of these solutions risky, as their effectiveness is deemed insufficient, particularly under high disease pressure. According to the IFV team, biocontrol solutions show no efficacy under high disease pressure and only 50% efficacy under low disease pressure. This inconsistency limits their standalone use and explains the systematic use of biocontrols in combination with reduced doses of conventional products.