Biocontrol and challenges in future cultivation systems

By Jéssica Brasau, R&DI manager at Vittia

29.06.2023 | 08:56 (UTC -3)

Potential causes of great losses, pests and diseases are among the main challenges faced by rural producers. The list is extensive, it represents a constant threat (from sowing to harvest) and there is no way for a crop to be successful without good integrated management.

In June, Vittia was one of the participants in a meeting promoted by the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC), held at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, to talk about biocontrol needs and challenges in future cultivation systems. With the theme “Commercial formulations of Bacillus and Trichoderma in the integrated management of leaf spots in soybeans”, the results achieved by studies were presented that, from the 2019-2020 to 2021-2022 harvest, verify the use of new integrated management technologies to rust control (Phakopsora pachyrhizi), frogeye spot (cercospora sojina) and septoria (Septoria glycones), by means of Bacillus subtilis BV02 and Trichoderma asperellum BV10.

According to data from the National Supply Company (Conab), soy remains the product with the highest volume harvested in the country: the estimated production for the 2022/23 harvest is 153,6 million tons. The country is also the largest soybean producer in the world and has the challenge of producing more and more, in a tropical environment highly favorable to phytopathogens.

In this sense, the use of biological products has been a growing choice for producers, not only because of their effectiveness, but also because of the low toxicity of the products and because they do not cause damage to the environment. According to S&P Global, in Brazil biological products were used on 6,5 million hectares in 2017/2018; 13 million hectares in 2019/2020 and 24 million hectares in 2021/2022 – an increase of almost 270% in the period. The largest use was in soybean cultivation (42% of the total), followed by cotton (21%), sugar cane (18%), corn (15%) and other crops (4%).

Because we understand that this is a path of no return, we are constantly investing in the development of biological management technologies as a way of boosting disease control, combined with the conservation of environmental resources and greater productivity and profitability for farmers.

With the largest portfolio of regulated biological targets in Brazil – there are more than 60 – our objective, through research and innovation, is to seek new methods to increase production, offering more suitable conditions so that plants can express their full genetic potential. and, in the end, contribute to facing the challenge of producing more food, in a healthier and more sustainable way, for a population that is expected to reach a total of 9,7 billion people in 2050.

Biotechnology and biological agricultural inputs have the potential to revolutionize Brazilian agriculture, offering an increasingly promising future for those who produce, those who consume and, of course, for our planet as a whole.

By Jessica Brasau, R&DI manager at Vittia

Mosaic Biosciences March 2024