Don Sanchez Fresh innovates with biological control in avocados

Don Sanchez Fresh innovates with biological control in avocados

Don Sánchez Fresh is a producer of avocado, berries and other agricultural crops. Their successful experience with biological control of pests and diseases in crops such as raspberries, led them to make the decision to implement this tool in the production of Hass avocado. The result has been an effective and safe control of thrips, crystalline spider mites and other pests, which has guaranteed the success of their production and their entry into various international markets.


Since 1983, Don Sánchez Fresh has been dedicated to the production, distribution and marketing of avocados and other farm products. Based in Michoacán, Mexico, this family business started using biological control in its raspberry production when it successfully controlled the white mite, a pest that had been a major problem for several berry growers in the region. That was when they learned about Koppert's natural solutions. Since then, both companies have maintained a close relationship that has allowed them to go one step further.

Pest and disease control in avocado trees

In avocado production there are a number of pests such as thrips, brown spiders, crystalline spiders, worms and ants, as well as root diseases that cause a reduction in the yield of avocado trees and economic losses due to fruit damage. For this reason, integrated pest and disease management is essential. This approach combines a series of methods such as monitoring, cultural practices, biological control and, only when necessary, chemical control.

Although biological control is not yet common in avocado production in Mexico, more and more growers are exploring the development and implementation of natural enemies of pests and diseases such as predatory mites and bugs, lacewings, beneficial nematodes and entomopathogenic fungi, among others, in order to ensure sustainable production that allows them to continue accessing export markets where entry barriers are becoming increasingly strict.

Oscar Alvarez, orchard manager of Don Sanchez Fresh, it is important to be patient and develop knowledge about the behavior of beneficial insects and their relationship with other integrated pest management tools. "You have to be patient and lose your fear. You need the help of Koppert consultants to know which substances affect the performance of beneficial insects. It also takes a lot of dedication to obtain the favorable results that biological pest control gives.

More open doors thanks to biological control

In several countries there are regulations limiting the use of certain pesticides and obliging farmers to apply sustainable agricultural practices. More and more retailers are even requiring extra-legal conditions for the marketing of fruits and vegetables in their aisles. IPM enables farmers to comply with these regulations and ensure safe and environmentally friendly crop production.

All farmers must take a step forward to stay in the market. Fabián Alejandre, avocado orchard coordinator at Don Sánchez Fresh, says: "One of the reasons why we are getting into biological control is because a law is coming that will limit the use of many molecules and insecticides.

Together with Koppert, Don Sánchez Fresh has managed to implement a successful biological control strategy that has not only given them access to all the world's markets, but has also guaranteed the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices, reduced agrochemical applications and, consequently, reduced environmental risks and ensured the production of healthy, high quality fruit.