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Biological products registration surpasses agrochemicals in Brazilqrcode

Apr. 23, 2024

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Apr. 23, 2024

The number of biological products registered in Brazil for crop protection against agricultural pests in recent years has surpassed that of agrochemicals, according to data presented by Professor José Maurício Simões Bento from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture at the University of São Paulo (Esalq-USP).

José Maurício Simões Bento, photo by Elton Alisson.jpg

José Maurício Simões Bento, photo by Elton Alisson

"There are currently nearly 629 biological products registered in Brazil for pest control, involving microorganisms, macroorganisms, biochemicals, and semiochemicals," he said at the FAPESP Week Illinois event in Chicago, United States. 

According to the expert, this number has been "constantly increasing annually."

Bento is one of the leading researchers at the São Paulo Advanced Research Center for Biological Control (SPARCBio), established by FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) in partnership with Koppert.

According to the researcher, approximately 20% of global agricultural producers adopt biological products. Brazil leads in this regard, with 55% of properties using biocontrol compared to 6% in the United States. In bio-stimulants, the country accounts for 50% compared to 16%. For biofertilizers, the proportion is 36% against 12% in both nations, respectively.

"Today, Brazil has about 170 biofactories, treating an area of approximately 25 million hectares, and a market that moves more than US$1 billion annually, with projected growth of 15% to 20% per year," Bento reported. 

He cited the examples of sugarcane fields - a crop of which Brazil is the world's largest producer, with a planted area of 22 million hectares and a fourfold increase in production over the last 40 years. In this crop, biological control has been combined with monitoring systems, sensors, artificial intelligence, and autonomous vehicles to enhance its application.

Smart traps equipped with cameras capturing images of captured insects attracted by pheromones have been installed throughout the planted areas. The images are sent to a central location where they are processed by software that quantifies the captured insects. The images are processed along with climatic data and weather forecasts through artificial intelligence tools. 

"This artificial intelligence processing allows for the estimation of the insect population for the next few days and accurately determines the most suitable date for releasing natural enemies in different parts of the farm, done through drones," Bento explained.

(Editing by Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages)

Source: AgroNews


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