Get rid of disease efficiently through natural mechanisms will become an increasingly important control methods in the coming years, according to some crop experts.

The elimination of potato scab is one such topic and now a natural remedy, in the form of a product called Organic Plus RH, is credited with giving fairly good control of this perennial problem.

The company that makes it, Bionetix, is a provider of biological solutions for various disease issues, but which have a healthy respect for the environment. This product controls scab via natural mechanisms using different micro-organisms and nutrients to stimulate the production of healthier potatoes.

The East Hokkaido region is known to have the highest volume of potato production in Japan and a local a potato farmer was experiencing a high rate of potato scab infection in his crops, before becoming a test bed for a new approach. Prior to the 2019 season, his infection rate had reached approximately 85% in two fields that measured about 65 ha.

Approximately 35ha section of these fields was set apart as test area to evaluate the efficacy of Organic

Plus RH during the 2019 growing season. The product was diluted in water and sprayed on the soil during sowing time in the spring.

After treatment with the product, potato scab was eliminated in the test field as a result of the synergistic action of the rhamnolipids and other naturally derived ingredients in it, helping to efficiently control potato scab through natural mechanisms.

Rhamnolipids are biological surfactants that improve soil quality, help fight plant pathogens, and improve absorption of fertilisers and nutrients through roots. This biological bio stimulant also contained high concentrations of humic and fulvic acids, marine plants (seaweed), and micronutrients.

As well as scab control, the organic product also increased crop yields and produced better root formation and encouraged microbial activity in the soil, plus acted as a suppressant to other diseases.