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Rare tie-up in biocontrol industry
AFTER five years of working
closely together to develop
practical integrated pest
management solutions for a range
of pests in greenhouses and field
crops, Biological Services, Loxton,
and Manchil IPM Services, Muchea,
WA, announced they would join
their respective companies in June
2014 and operate under the trade
name Biological Services.
This is great news on several
Firstly, this cooperation among
companies potentially competing
for a limited market is rare in the
global biocontrol industry.
It is a measure of the maturity and
respect that the two owners, James
Altmann and Lachlan Chilman,
have for each other.
Secondly, the joint company can
offer clients a full range of biocontrol
agents that will eliminate the most
common pests in key greenhouse
crops, and a number of field crops.
More importantly, they can now
confidently offer clients a contract
which will cover pest management
needs for the life of the crop.
This is infinitely better than a
piece-meal approach which puts
the onus on growers to take the
initiative every time a new problem
Mr Altmann and Mr Chilman are
foot soldiers, travelling around the
country developing several crop
programs together, notably for
strawberries in SA and VIC, capsi-
cums in SA and WA, and tomatoes
in VIC, SA and WA.
Staff and clients are being shared,
so the new company simplifies
what was a good but complicated
Packaging, marketing, and
administration can now also be
streamlined, leading to cost savings
The two companies have about 25
staff in total. They will be retained
under the new arrangement.
Mr Altmann and Mr Chilman
started off several years ago provid-
ing a monitoring service to local
growers and moved on to develop
their skills in rearing and providing
beneficial insects to reduce wide-
spread non-sustainable reliance on
Mr Altmann initially specialised
in Aphytis melinus parasitoids for
armoured scale for his citrus clients,
then greenhouse white fly control
with Encarsia formosa for green-
Mr Chilman now has a suite
of additional effective biocontrol
agents in his armoury, including
Stratiolaelaps scimitus, Hypoaspis
aculeifer and Dalotia coriaria for
fungus gnats and thrips, Aphidius
colemani, Aphidius ervi and
Aphelinus abdominalis for aphids,
Eretmocerus warrae for greenhouse
white fly, Neoseiulus californicus
and Metaseiulus occidentalis for spi-
der mites and Neoseiulus cucumeris
for thrips and broad mite.
Mr Chilman tackled Phytoseiulus
persimilis for spider mite control
and managed the difficult task of
rearing the native pirate bug Orius
armatus and tantillus for thrips con-
trol in capsicum and strawberries.
He also rears Neoseiulus cucumeris.
The two companies have devel-
oped expertise in the last year in
rearing and using the introduced
plant bug Nesidiocoris tenuis, which
looks very promising for white fly
control in protected crops, particu-
larly tomato and eggplant crops, but
needs careful management.
The leaders saw a strong need
to tackle major thrips problems
in greenhouse crops which were
concentrated in the Adelaide Plains.
Crops were failing and pesticides
overused and ineffective.
After trying and failing to
obtain grants through Ausveg and
Horticulture Australia to work
closely with the growers, the two
companies combined resources to
go it alone.
All the hard work over the past
few years has paid off, at least in
success stories, with 50 hectares of
greenhouses in the Adelaide Plains
now on board for integrated pest
The spectacular success has raised
the possibility of larger areas next
The range of crops for which con-
tracts can be offered has expanded
to include cucumber, capsicum,
eggplant, tomato, strawberry and
More recently, Mr Altmann and
Mr Chilman have developed inte-
grated pest management programs
in Tas on raspberry and strawberry.
The company can arrange pro-
grams throughout Australia.
• Need to know more?
firstname.lastname@example.org to place
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James Altmann, Biological Services, Loxton, and Lachlan Chilman, Manchil IPM Services, Muchea, WA, are travelling
around Australia developing several crop programs together, notably for strawberries in SA and Vic, capsicums in SA
and WA, and tomatoes in Vic, SA and WA.
Manchil IPM & Biological Services have joined to form
the new Biological Services company. Commercial
producers of biological control agents and mites for
integrated pest management programs.
Red Scale....................................... Aphytis melinus
Two Spotted Mite ......................... Phytoseiulus Persimilis
White y........................................... Encarsia formosa
Diamond Back Moth.................... Diadegma semiclausum
Fungus Gnat/Thrips/Shore y.... Hypoaspis miles
Thrips .............................................. Neoseiulus cucumeris
Aphids............................................. Aphidius colemani
PO BOX 501 LOXTON SA 5333
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