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Release of macrobiologicals using drone improves greater profitability for producersqrcode

May. 7, 2020

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May. 7, 2020
Koppert, in partnership with various drone companies, has released macrobiological control agents using this technology in the field, to provide rural producers with more efficient biological control while ensuring application quality, reducing costs, improving productivity, and shortening operating times.

According to Gláucio Carrit Ancient, the CEO of Geocom, one of Koppert’s partner companies, the advantages of using drones are numerous, most notably in terms of ensuring quality and speed and monitoring pest numbers and lowering cost. “The use of drones includes a precise dosing mechanism, enabling the precise distribution of biological agents in the areas to be controlled. Drones are also capable of covering large areas, and it is possible to control at peak times,” he explained.

One of the main benefits offered to producers, besides lower application cost, is increased profitability at the end of the harvest. “Farmers need to spend less and productivity will also be better. In sugarcane, for example, for every 1% reduction in borer infestation rate, producers will have about R$100 per hectare more in their pockets,” Antiga said.

A practical example related to this crop is a comparison made in various areas in the municipality of Alto Alegre (RS), with some using conventional control while others applied Trichogramma pretiosum to control caterpillars in corn crops. “Unlike conventional management using five insecticide applications to control caterpillars, the biological one only carried out a dispersion of wasps during the entire corn crop cycle, generating a reduction of approximately R$250 per hectare. With savings of around R$400 per hectare in the choice of seeds, it is possible to have a reduction in total cost of approximately R$650 per hectare using this technology, without reducing crop productivity,” explained another Koppert partner, Cristiano Gotuzzo (Executive Director of Geoplan Solutions at Agronegócio).

According to Rodrigo Rodrigues (Koppert's South-Central Sales Manager), the use of drones enables applications on large areas of crops, such as soybeans, corn and cotton, with a yield of 200 to 350 hectares per day, in addition to not requiring the use of a producer’s infrastructure equipment. “Sprayers, tractors and other equipment can be used in normal farm operations while the drone releases macrobiologicals. The entire operation using a drone costs less than a single conventional application using tractors, motorcycles or manual release,” he said.

Koppert has three macrobiological products in its portfolio, which are GalloiBug (Trichogramma galloi) for controlling sugarcane borer, PretioBug (Trichogramma pretiosum) for use against six types of caterpillars, and PodisiBug (Telenomus podisi) that controls five types of bedbugs in various cultures.

Producers

Producers of sugarcane, grains and other major crops are utilizing technology effectively, while focusing on understanding their advantages then realizing their numerous advantages in the field to reap the results. “There is also a clear understanding of the advantages from the point of view of sustainability, and many already see the opportunity to reduce the use of chemical pesticides, ensuring a more balanced environment,” Antiga affirmed.

Samir Rodrigo Fin, the CEO of Agrovoa, also a partner of Koppert, said that drones have a type of “black box,” where data on applications are stored, such as the quantity of product per hectare and area covered. “This data is essential to customers in terms of planning and monitoring, guaranteeing an even greater adherence to this technology,” he added.

The receptiveness of partners and customers to using drone has passed the research phase and has become the standard form of application. “In the countryside, everyone recognizes this form of application as being very advantageous, and realizes that it is agriculture 4.0 in the daily running of properties,” Rodrigues further added.

The original Portuguese version of this report is from Grupo Cultivar.

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