Ecogrow Under New Management.

Ecogrow has just completed 10 years of trading and has now entered a new phase of management and ownership. Craig Wilson and his partner Ian Broughton want on build on the success over the past 10 years. During that time Craig Wilson completed a Masters in Environmental Management as part of his commitment to environmental solutions.

Originally licensee to the CSIRO Entomology technology the business now fully owns the Intellectual property and the name of the new business is Ecogrow Environment Pty Ltd. We have a focus on trying to price our products competitively whilst reinforcing many of the environmental benefits that are often unquantifiable as dollars.

Ecogrow has exported nematodes to South Africa and USA for the control Sirex Wasp in pine plantations for research purposes in the past few years. Annually Ecogrow supplies nematodes to the Forestry Industry for the control of Sirex wasp. Based on the damage (80%) to trees in the Green Triangle, the Australian Forestry industry estimates that the saving to radiata pines is in the order of $1-4 billion per rotation.

They still maintain a good working relationship with Dr Robin Bedding CSIRO Fellow.

Recently Ecogrow, were involved in developing improved storage techniques for the long-term storage of Sirex nematodes. The nematodes can be dried out to 0.85% water activity without harming them. They refreeze fresh cultures every year, which are stored at Melbourne University as part of a risk management strategy for the National Sirex Coordination Committee. They have found that the Sirex nematodes can be revived from the liquid Nitrogen dewers at CSIRO after 30 plus years of frozen suspended animation. They really are a remarkable organism!

In Turf the main focus is the control of scarab larvae. African Black Beetle and Argentine Scarab the most common in domestic lawns. Currently they produce nematodes to control Portuguese Millipede under contract from Mid May to Mid June.

In Horticulture they produce nematodes for the control of Black Vine Weevil in wholesale production nurseries and control of Fungus gnat in Nurseries as well.

The Fungus gnat (sciarid fly), control is all year production. The nematode is used from time to time in Mushroom farms and has been used overseas as part of Western Flower Thrip control strategies.

Susceptibility trails against sheep Lice by the QLD, Animal Research Institute Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries found that 90% of sheep lice were controlled with the application of Steinernema carpocapsae in their trials. The nematodes can help to overcome chemical resistance issues and have the advantage over chemicals of seeking out the pest in cryptic habits.

Entomopathogenic Nematodes ( Steinernema. carpocapsae ) have been shown to readily infect and kill larvae and adult darkling beetles (litter beetles, lesser mealworm), a pest of the poultry industry, in laboratory experiments. Studies to test efficacy when applied in the field are currently underway by the Animal Research Institute. They also control House termites, Flea larvae and army worm / cutworm.

Craig Wilson said that he would like to thank all of the businesses and individuals that have supported the nematode technology in the past 10 years and looks forward to building relationships within the industry. There are some exciting opportunities still ahead!

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