Disease suppression in cress and sugar beet seedlings with frass of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)

Elissen, Hellen; Schilder, Mirjam; Postma, Joeke; van der Weide, Rommie


This report describes two bioassays for testing disease suppression by BSF frass in an agricultural soil with two crops: sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and cress (Lepidium sativum). In the bioassay with beet, soil was infected with the plant-pathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani while in the bioassay with cress, soil was non-infected or infected with the plant-pathogenic fungus Pythium ultimum. Both concentrations of the BSF frass (7.5 and 15 g/kg soil) proved to be useful as soil application, leading to good plant emergence and growth of sugar beet and cress plants. The highest concentration of BSF frass (15 g/kg soil, both as total product) had a large fertilizer effect. In experiments with cress without addition of Pythium (i.e. with only natural soil infections), disease suppression with BSF frass was found. In all tests, keratin was added as a positive control treatment, which had a higher disease suppression effect than BSF frass but comparable fertilizer effects.