Pests and diseases are a constant threat to agricultural production; climate change will probably escalate their occurrence, prevalence and severity. The availability of chemical agents to combat plant pathogens is limited, since pesticides have proven to be often hazardous for both the environment and human health – use should therefore be reduced or avoided whenever possible. For example, copper is widely used to control devastating plant diseases including downy mildew of grapevine (Plasmopara viticola), late blight of potato and tomato (Phytophthora infestans), apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) and a large range of other crops and plant pathogens. However, copper must be replaced urgently as it has an unfavorable ecotoxicological profile. The alternatives must be sustainable.
The potential use of bioactive extracts from by-products of the forest industry was the focus of the ForestSpecs (www.forestspecs.eu) project. Constituents of Larix by-products were demonstrated to have high potential for development into a fungicide (plant protection product, PPP) with
- high efficacy against a key disease affecting agriculture,
- a favourable environmental profile with respect to environmental impact and use of renewable resources, as well as
- high potential to generate added value in the forest industry and European production of ‘smart’ crop protection technologies.
Prolarix aims at realising the necessary steps to registration and introduction to the market of this new PPP.
Botanical plant Protection agent from Larix by-products (ProLarix)
- Project number: 613600
- EC contribution: €999 381
- Duration: 24 months
- Starting date: 01/11/2013
The overall objective of the ProLarix project
The overall objective of the ProLarix project is to facilitate the market introduction of an innovative plant protection product made from by-products of the European forest industry. ProLarix will develop and exploit the business opportunities for European plant protection related SMEs and provide an opportunity to the forest industry to transform low value by-products into high value-added, bioactive extracts.