By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
The first mobile laboratory developed in Brazil to support the management of caterpillars with baculovirus-based insecticides was launched last month.
The innovation, developed by the Australian company, AgBiTech, makes it possible to transfer knowledge to the agribusiness production chain, with the aim of rationalizing the use of insecticides on crops.
Installed inside a truck, the mobile laboratory is run by professionals who specialize in pest management, including agronomists who hold master and doctoral degrees, AgBiTech pointed out.
“Due to this structure, we can provide quality information to customers and partners. At meetings, we emphasize the technical positioning of AgBiTech products and the identification of various species of caterpillars that attack crops,” explained agronomist Gustavo Shiomi (Marketing Manager at AgBiTech).
According to Shiomi, the mobile laboratory has also been used successfully to train consultants, researchers, farmers and farm workers, as well as to attract visitors to agricultural fairs and participants to field days organized by the company.
He added that shortly before the start of the harvest, the mobile laboratory served over 400 farmers and agribusiness professionals while covering more than 6,000 kilometers in major agricultural regions.
By the end of the harvest, around 20,000 kilometers would have been covered in Bahia, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Tocantins, he further added.
“The mobile laboratory aims to ensure that the company's customers have a positive experience with its baculovirus-based products. It will also help to consolidate the company’s brand image as a specialist in controlling caterpillars and strengthen its partnerships in distribution channels. During this harvest, we will go to places that have never witnessed this support model, especially due to difficulties in terms of access, in areas such as Maranhão and Tocantins,” Shiomi explained.
Present in Brazil for three years, AgBiTech plans to increase the area treated with its bioinsecticides from 500,000 hectares to 2 million hectares between past and current crops. The company's portfolio currently consists of four items marketed under the brands, Armigen, Cartugen, Chrysogen and Surtivo Soja.
According to Adriano Vilas Boas (General Director of AgBiTech in Latin America), the brand's portfolio has surprised producers, because of its excellent performance in controlling caterpillars that seriously affect many types of crops, most notably Helicoverpa armigera, Chrysodeixis includens (false-medium) and the Spodoptera complex.
He added that in the 2019-2020 season, AgBiTech will introduce other technologies that will facilitate the application of baculovirus-based bioinsecticides, including field monitoring applications and digital traps for moths. “We will focus on the intelligent management of caterpillars and offering innovative and effective tools to producers,” he said in conclusion.