The area treated with pesticides (PAT) in Brazil increased by 13.4% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, pointed out a new field survey by Sindiveg (National Union of the Industry of Plant Defense Products) to which AgroPages had access first-hand.
The report also indicates that the growth occurred mainly due to the soybean crop and the proliferation of pests.
The oilseed currently represents 37% of the total Brazilian treated area, an increase of four percentage points compared to 33% in the first three months of 2022.
″It is interesting to note that these numbers are in line with the latest data published by Conab (Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento), which showed that soybean productivity increased by 15% in the 22/23 crop year compared to the 21/22 crop year,″ said Júlio Borges Garcia, president of Sindiveg.
According to him, ″Productivity grows due to the adoption of many technologies integrated into the field, including agricultural defensives. After all, it is pesticides that allow plants to grow and bear fruit, by protecting them from attack by pests, diseases, and weeds.″
The Sindiveg survey detected a significant increase in the incidence of bed bugs, in soybeans and corn, in the 22/23 harvest compared to the 21/22 harvest.
The report pointed out that growth was driven by climate normalization and increased grain production, including area expansion, which favors the emergence and development of pests.
In soybean crops, the incidence of bed bugs increased by 6.3%. In corn, the upward curve reached 10.8%.
The expansion of the cultivated area in both cultures helps explain the pest’s recurrence: in soybean, expansion of 6.2% of the cultivated area; in maize, 3.5%.
Even cotton farmers faced a huge challenge in managing insects in the 22/23 season, even though the cultivated area expanded by only 3.8% compared to the 21/22 season.
To give you an idea, the incidence of whiteflies increased by 3.7% in this period. The incidence of cotton boll weevil grew by 17.3%, surpassing the peak of infestation registered in the 2019/20 harvest.
″These scenarios demonstrate the importance of crop protection technologies for Brazilian farmers to continue increasing productivity, year after year, thus guaranteeing society a growing supply of food and fiber,″ Garcia commented.
(Editing by Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages)