Oct. 30, 2020
By Leonardo Gottems, Reporter for AgroPages
Data from the Business Intelligence Panel (BIP) survey released by the consultancy company, Spark Smarter Decisions, showed the total market for insecticides for controlling cottonworms, covering both agrochemicals and biological pesticides, fell by 7% in the 2019/2020 season. Approximately US$144 million was sold in value.
According to the survey, this specific segment of bioinsecticides has more than doubled its economic importance, with the area treated with these products reaching 514 thousand hectares of cotton, an increase of 103% compared to the 2018-19 cycle. Turnover in sales was $5.3 million, rising by 102% and accounting for 3.7% of the total market.
Biological pesticides for cotton were applied on 66,000 hectares during the 2017-18 harvest, valued at $1.1 million, the survey further showed. In the following cycle in 2018-19, the same products registered total sales of $2.6 million or a rise of 147%, and covered an area of 252,000 hectares of the cotton, a rise of 281%.
Spark's 2019-20 survey also showed that in the treated area, there was an increase of 80% in the use of organic cottonseeds by producers, and increase from 7% to 12% of the sample compared to the previous survey in 2018-19. The average number of cotton treated with bioinsecticides increased from 2.2 to 2.5, or 14%, between the same periods.
According to BIP, the Austro-American company, AgBiTech, leads the market for biological insecticides for cotton caterpillars in Brazil. According to Spark, AgBiTech grew 608% between the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cycles of culture. During this period, the company, a specialist in baculovirus-based products, increased its market share from 13% to 46% in the segment of biopesticides for cotton.
“These are extraordinary numbers, which highlight the trend of continuous growth in the adoption of biological management practices against caterpillars. The data also reflects the expected rapid integration of bioinsecticides to the management of cotton producers in controlling these pests,” said Murilo Moreira (Marketing Director at AgBiTech).
AgBiTech attributes its performance in the cotton caterpillar market to the features of the company's “star product,” which is most applied on crops. Marketed in Brazil under the Cartugen brand with a formulation based on baculovirus, this bioinsecticide, according to the company, now occupies a 44% market share two seasons after its launch.
The control of Spodoptera frugiperda, known as the “caterpillar” in Brazil, costs some $600 million per crop of the cotton, according to information from research agencies. “In cotton, the negative impact of the caterpillar is more aggressive, as it occurs directly on the apple of the plant, with seriously damages production. Cartugen's popularity in this culture is mainly due to the protective action that it transfers to the reproductive structures of the cotton,” Moreira said in conclusion.
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