Chitosan – Revolutionary Natural Pest and Disease Control

Following a year of successful trials Plater Bio is now manufacturing a natural ingredient that could revolutionise pest and disease control in agriculture and horticulture! The product is called chitosan and is extracted from specially cultured fungi.

This radical development makes Plater Bio the only manufacturer of fungal chitosan outside of China.

Chitosan is suitable for organic usage, allowing organic farmers access to an effective product to control diseases instead of the use of synthetic pesticides.

Unlike the vast majority of chitosan, imported from Asia and made from seafood waste (prawn heads and crab shells), Plater Bio’s chitosan is produced from fungi, therefore suitable when vegetarian ingredients are required.

The benefits of chitosan are not restricted to protecting crops from fungi and bacterial diseases, it can also be used for clarifying real ale and cleaning polluted water.

Prior to this product becoming available, organic farmers had few tools to protect against disease, relying on resilient varieties and cultural practices. Since 2014, EU ‘basic substance’ regulations have allowed for the use of chitosan, to activate the plants own defences against disease. Until now, the cost and supply of chitosan has made it not a viable option. Now, not only is it an option for organic farmers, but also conventional farmers, who are seeing the number of active pesticides dwindling as conventional synthetic products are being withdrawn.

Dr Russell Sharp, Plater Bio technical director stated “At Plater Bio we are very excited about the benefits this revolutionary product can offer to farmers and the brewing industry.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.