New LIFE Next Fumigreen trial with natural fumigants reduces greenhouse treatment time to less than one third

  • The LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project continues to advance with validations of fumigant dispersion in commercial greenhouses.
  • Operator exposure to plant protection products is minimized and the use of additional machinery or means of application is eliminated.

The European LIFE NextFUMIGREEN project for the development of natural fumigants to control pests in greenhouses continues to progress with validations of the dispersion of fumigants in commercial greenhouses. The trial has simulated the entire greenhouse treatment process for comparison with conventional methods and validated the treatment time required with this technology, which can be reduced to less than a third.

At the beginning of July, a field trial was carried out to analyze the dispersion of fumigants in a 1-hectare greenhouse of the “scratch and wipe” type. For this purpose, about 50 kilos of fumigants were applied to validate the dispersion of the smoke within the hectare occupied by the crop, with excellent results. The watertightness of this type of greenhouse, which is the most common in the Almeria area and occupies most of the surface area in Europe as a whole, was also validated.

The trial was attended by technicians from Massó Agro and farmers and technicians from the farm. Moreover, an application methodology has also been verified that minimizes operator exposure to phytosanitary products and does not require any additional machinery or means of application (it is dispersed independently and autonomously).

This trial is part of the demonstration actions in field conditions, training and demonstration of fumigant biopesticides, which contribute to the professionalization and training of farmers. The autonomous character and the “ready-to-use dosage” of fumigant biopesticides facilitates the proper handling and dosage of pesticides in the crop, ensuring an adequate dose, avoiding the use of machinery and providing a safe system for both the environment and the health of the applicator. Smoke is a dry dispersion method, which avoids the adverse effects of excess humidity on crops (fungus proliferation) and avoids accidental spills that contaminate soil and groundwater.

Development of natural fumigants

The European project LIFE Next Fumigreen will develop natural fumigants, based on active substances extracted from plant extracts, for the control of whitefly populations (Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and other pests (thrips, aphids, tuta…) in horticultural crops grown intensively under greenhouse conditions. With a total budget of 2,758,921.01 €, 60% subsidized by the LIFE program, the project will last 4 years and 6 months, until May 31, 2027. Led by the Spanish company FumiHogar, the project has five other partners: the Foundation for Agricultural Auxiliary Technologies (TECNOVA); the Finnova Foundation; B&B Asesores Auditores Ambientales; Comercial Quimica Masso; and BrioAgro Tech. Fumigant biopesticides are less toxic than conventional pesticides, and the replacement of chemical pesticides will mitigate the adverse effects on the environment and human health. The project aims to demonstrate that this new fumigant biopesticide is effective against pests and diseases specific to bell pepper and tomato crops (the major greenhouse crops) and that it can be used for other pathosystems (in addition to whitefly, it is intended to demonstrate its efficacy against thrips and tuta absoluta) and in other EU countries. Life NEXTFUMIGREEN also foresees other benefits such as improved food security as a result of residue-free food, and positive effects on biodiversity and climate change.


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