Oct. 12, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) has released new results of field trials in Brazil that show its products matching or outperforming chemical-based pesticides in key crops for pesticide use.
"Our biological pesticides yielded excellent results in recent field trials in Brazil. This is an important target market for our products due to bioinsecticides' high market share and the urgent need for effective pest control solutions," said Pam Marrone, MBI's Chief Executive Officer. "I anticipate a clear path to completion of the registration process in Brazil, as the country's teams of biopesticide regulators review the positive trial results. We look forward to expanding into Brazil and helping growers tackle a wide range of unmet challenges."
The crop protection market in Brazil is the largest in the world at $9.4 billion USD in 2016, with projected sales in 2021 of US$10.1 billion1. Key crops are soybeans (50%), vines, fruits and vegetables (11%), maize (9%), sugarcane (9%), cotton (7%) and cereals (3%). Fungicides comprise approximately (30%), insecticides (36%) and herbicides (31%).
The biological pesticide market is small (US$200 million) relative to the chemical market, but it is growing more quickly than chemicals2. The Brazilian Association of Biological Control Companies forecasts that biopesticides will grow 15-20% annually over the next 10 years. One of the reasons for the strong growth is that the process to register biopesticides is generally faster than traditional chemical products. The authorities have established dedicated teams to evaluate biopesticides, using requirements that differ from traditional analyses3.
Bioinsecticides have the largest market value and account for half of the market share in 2016. It is also the fastest growing segment4. Further, suspension of 63 synthetic fungicide products used for controlling soybean rust by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture in January 2017 is expected to increase the demand for biofungicide products in the country, as well as product prices4. The Brazilian anti-soybean rust consortium, Consorcio Antiferrugem, has called for the approval of tank mix fungicides to control the major soybean disease in the country5. MBI intends to test its biofungicide products against this disease in the future.
Brazil is a key target for MBI's growth, and efficacy trials are required as part of the registration process. Therefore, MBI has conducted many trials in Brazil over the last three years.
The following is a summary of key data:
Five trials with Regalia on cotton, applied twice increased yield an average of 6.7%. For all rate and timing combinations, Regalia showed an impressive 71%-win rate over the untreated cotton.
Three trials with Grandevo on cotton for control of the bollworm Helicoverpa armigera. Grandevo performed equally well to the biological standard Bacillus thuringiensis and the chemical standard, zeta-cypermethrin in two of three locations.
Three trials with Majestene on bananas for control of burrowing nematodes: Majestene reduced nematode populations the same as carbofuran. All rates, when taken together, significantly increased yield (maximum was 5%) over the untreated bananas and this increase was equal to the chemical standard, carbofuran (no longer allowed in the U.S. due to its mammalian and bird toxicity). At the highest rate, Majestene was statistically better than carbofuran for yield.
Six trials with Majestene on soybeans for control of lesion nematodes - analyzed across all sites and for all rates, Majestene was statistically better for yield (+12-17% at three rates and +30% at the highest rate) than the untreated beans. At three rates, Majestene was equal to the commercial standard Avicta for yield, and at the highest Majestene rate, was statistically better (13% higher) than Avicta for yield. At three rates, Majestene was equal to Avicta for reducing nematode counts in soil.
Three trials with Grandevo on soybean for control of the caterpillar Helicoverpa armigera. Grandevo performed equally well to the biological standard Bacillus thuringiensis and the chemical standard, zeta-cypermethrin in all three locations.
Two trials with Grandevo on citrus for Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Grandevo at two rates reduced ACP nymphs as well as the commercial standard, imidacloprid. Venerate did not reduce nymphs as well as Grandevo in citrus trials, but the citrus yields after treatment with Venerate were the same as the chemical treatment, imidacloprid (~12.6% higher than untreated). In U.S.A. and Mexico trials, both Grandevo and Venerate have performed well against ACP and are particularly suited for resistance management programs in rotations with chemical pesticides.
In one trial, Venerate controlled spider mites as well as the chemical standard and reduced whiteflies by 80%.