Fruits and Vegetables

Qalcova™ Active: Making a Difference Against Pests in Italy

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Farming is often a family business, passed down from generation to generation. As each generation seeks to improve the business operation, land and crops, they may seek new products and processes to help meet the specific farming challenges they face, such as pests. Qalcova™ active is used in insecticide products in multiple countries to help prevent pests in fruit and vegetable crops. It’s approved for organic production, meaning it can be used on both organic and conventional farms. For the owners of these multi-generational Italian farms, there’s no other product like it for their crops.

Growing healthy fruits in Lagnasco

It’s a good thing Walter Audisio’s family ran a farm, because he says he would never be able to work in an office. As the owner of Farm Podere del Sole in Lagnasco, Italy, for eight years now, he doesn’t have to. Instead, he gets to spend his time working outside, which he’s enjoyed since he was a child.


Walter Audisio on his organic farm.

Audisio grows a variety of fruits on his 50-acre farm, including apples, cherries, peaches and kiwi. He likes watching the life cycle of these crops, he says, especially “the passing of time, season after season, seeing all the stages of a crop, from the falling of the leaves to the harvest of ripening fruits.”

Unfortunately, insect challenges can impede the healthy growth of his crops. Among the many pests he has to deal with are thrips, aphids, moths and scale insects. These pests can cause malformation of small fruits, even causing some to fall from the trees, defoliation and stunted development, as well as aesthetic damage, such as holes or blemishes, that could make fruits unappealing to consumers.

Around 10 years ago, Audisio discovered Laser® insecticide with Qalcova™ active. He says the product works great on moths, but where it really has an impact is on thrips close to the time of harvest. “If I wasn’t able to control them, I couldn’t have a satisfactory harvest in terms of quantity and quality of fruit,” he says.

Audisio uses Laser as needed when problems arise, usually two or more times per year. He considers it a necessity for running his farm, and continues to use it because he finds it ensures a successful treatment, whereas other products don’t provide the complete control of insects that he seeks. He adds, “I can sleep peacefully knowing that I have used Laser.”

It’s a big deal to Audisio that Qalcova is approved for organic crop production, so it can be used by all farms, and he knows it’s important to consumers, too. He says consumers can be assured that insecticides with Qalcova are authorized by the agriculture ministry under very rigorous analysis. Consumers may not have the technical knowledge to differentiate between available insecticides, but they like knowing that the produce they’re buying is farmed organically.

Fighting pests in the province of Latina

Alberto Cilia, Owner of Azienda Agricola Cilia Alberto province of Latina, Italy, comes from a long line of farmers. Generations of them built his family’s business. And now he’s been farming for 35 years, growing crops in both open fields and in greenhouses on his 10-acre farm.


Alberto Cilia grows crops in the field and in greenhouses like this one.

In both growing environments, he faces a multitude of pests and potential damage from them. Moths, aphid mites and white flies damage plant leaves, while thrips damage flowers. Without adequate control of these insects, Cilia estimates that he could lose 10% to 30% of his crop production—even up to a total crop loss—depending on the extent of pest damage. 

Cilia has been using products with Qalcova™ active since 2005. Even though his farm uses a conventional approach, he appreciates that the ingredient has a natural origin. “It has a lower impact on human health,” he says, adding, “It’s selective but very effective on the main pests I want to control.” Qalcova allows him to safely manage his most problematic pests: thrips and lepidoptera. He applies products three to four times per crop cycle for vegetables such as courgettes (zucchini), replacing the phosphoric esters he used previously for field crops and the acrinathrin he used in his greenhouses. He’s grateful to have products containing Qalcova to use in both growing environments. If Qalcova were not available, he says, “I would lose a key insecticide. It’s the only one capable of controlling most pests.”

The effectiveness of products with Qalcova active means Italian famers—and farmers in countries around the globe—can rest assured that their crops are protected against their most problematic pests. These products help protect their crops yields and allow them to grow the quality fruits and vegetables consumers want and expect.

Learn more about Qalcova active