Size of properties and scheduled spraying hinder biopesticides in Brazil, says Rabobank official
Jun. 2, 2020
Growth at significant rates of biological pesticides in Brazil is undeniable, the Brazilian Association of Biological Control Companies (ABCBio) recently pointed out, with this market increasing by around 20% every year since 2014, moving values of approximately R$465 million (approximately US$80 million).
"The growth of the biological sector has been consistent in recent years," a Rabobank analyst said.
“However, the sustained growth of the coming years still depends on overcoming some challenges,” a report signed by Matheus Almeida, senior economic analyst, responsible for Farm Inputs at the banking institution specializing in agribusiness, has pointed out.
The first challenge is the size of properties in Brazil. “The success of IPM/IDM (Integrated Pest/Disease Management) and the application of biologicals is directly linked to the identification of pests and diseases in their early stages of infestation. In addition, the distribution of micro and macro-organisms must be uniform throughout the treated area. In this sense, the spread of remote sensing technologies and the recognition of invaders coupled to drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) can be good tools.”
Another barrier to be overcome is that many Brazilian producers have the culture of applying chemical products by the calendar, without knowing what is the degree of crop infestation or even if there is any. "For it to be effective, biological control must be initiated at a certain stage of pests and diseases," the Rabobank specialist highlighted.
A third problem to be overcome by biopesticides, is that the products currently available do not yet combat all pests and diseases, requiring the use of some chemicals in part of the process, the bank analyst said.
“In that sense, additional care is needed in guiding users about the products that can be combined or the time window to avoid interaction between different active ingredients. Take, for example, the application of an insecticide after the distribution of wasps,” he explained.
“This point of the portfolio and the variety of products becomes an even bigger problem given that there are still a few agronomic consultants familiar with biologicals. The growing interest in these products along with the expansion of companies should increase the knowledge of these agents,” Almeida said in conclusion.
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