By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
Over 2.5 million hectares of soybean crops in Brazil were treated with bionematicides during the 2018-2019 crop season, revealing an upward trend in the use of biological pesticides.
According to data from the consultancy company, Spark Strategic Intelligence, bionematicides accounted for half of this market, generating US$50 million in sales last season.
AgroPages attended the 9th Andav Congress, held in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, to speak to André Dias, Managing Partner of Spark Intelligence Strategic, an agricultural engineer graduated from Esalq-USP.
Dias said that the total market value of biological products used on soybean crops reached $100 million, up 45% over the previous season, and used mainly during seed treatment.
“The use of biological pesticides is now gaining momentum. Farmers no longer see this as something new to be tested, they already use biological products and go to congresses and technical events to learn about the subject. Using biopesticides is already part of their routines,” explained Dias.
Managing Partner of Spark Intelligence Strategic
He added that Brazilian rural producers use biological products, not only because they are more sustainable and ecological, but because they work. “Bionematicides, which can be more expensive than chemicals, are increasingly used by farmers because they work. What we are not yet sure about is how fast this use will gain market share, because the market constantly changes,” Dias stressed.
Dias noted that it is much easier to register biological pesticides in Brazil. “There are many complaints from society against the large number of agrochemical registrations in the country, which has increased during the term of the current government. But many biologicals have entered the market as well, because this procedure is being facilitated. Just be interested in registering these products,” he further added.
According to Cristiano Limberger, Customer Relations Manager of Spark, the use of bionematicides in Brazil jumped from 2% in the 2016/2017 crop season to 9% last season. In the state of Mato Grosso, bionematicides were applied to 16% of soybean acreage during the 2018/2019 crop season, more than double the value of the 7% used in the 2017/2018 season, and well above 2% in the 2016/2017 season.
Another relevant finding from Spark's study shows that the use of co-inoculation, an agronomic practice for enhancing the nutrition of soybean plants by applying products described as “biological inoculants” reached 15% on cultivated areas during the 2018-19 season. According to Spark, combined, the bio-based pesticide and pesticide markets were worth $150 million during that period.
“Inoculants are microorganisms added to legume seeds, which assist the biological fixation of nitrogen as a nutrient,” explained Hamilton Ramos, Scientific Researcher at the Center for Engineering and Automation of the Agronomic Institute, CEA-IAC, an agency of the State Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply.
attended the event and distributed its latest magazine, titled, “2019 Latin America Focus
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