The Biobest Academy is set to underpin the Group’s reputation for providing ‘best in class’ IPM technical advice.
“Making Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs successful requires a much deeper understanding of the crop, the pest or disease, and the solution, compared to conventional crop protection methods,” explains Biobest Academy Manager Neal Ward.
“An empowering resource for colleagues, distributors, and customers, the Biobest Academy is designed to be used by those new to IPM, right through to experienced practitioners.”
“Our initial focus was to build a valuable, easily accessible resource for our own technical teams, helping ensure we give the very best advice to growers. We’ve now progressed to the next stage; at GreenTech, we have launched the Biobest Academy to external audiences, empowering distributors, growers, and anyone interested in sustainable IPM practices.”
The e-learning platform features 30 modular courses covering everything from the general concepts and principles of IPM, bumblebee pollination, and crop scouting right through to advanced modules aimed at technical managers and consultants.
“Whether it is learning to identify key pests and diseases in your crop, understanding the complex biology of aphid hyperparasitism, or getting to grips with cutting-edge cannabis growing techniques, the Biobest Academy has a course for you,” says Neal. “The interactive e-learning modules give our students a varied and engaging learning experience, giving them the knowledge they need to make more informed decisions and, ultimately, use IPM to grow a better crop.”
“It’s taken three years to compile the central knowledge repository, with material contributed by subject matter experts within our international team of IPM and Pollination Specialists as well as R&D and Product Managers.”
With a modular format, users can tailor their learning experience to suit their needs. Courses end with a short exam, and learners gain a certificate on passing. In the UK, the courses qualify for BASIS professional development points, something Biobest will expand to other countries in the future. All courses are delivered in English, and some are also available in Dutch, with French and Spanish versions due soon. A selection of the basic courses is free.
“IPM doesn’t stand still,” says Neal. “While new pest and disease threats are constantly appearing in crops, there is also a steady stream of sustainable new Biobest solutions. As such, the Academy will continue to evolve, with new content added and existing content regularly reviewed, keeping users at the forefront of the latest IPM developments.”