Tim Damico, Certis USA
Executive Vice President - NAFTA Everyone is leaping onto the biopesticide bandwagon. And, for good reasons. Although biopesticides are less than 5 percent of the global crop protection market, the estimated market for biopesticides worldwide in 2015 was estimated to be $2.7 billion. The market is conservatively estimated to grow 14 to 17 percent annually and is projected to reach $4.1 billion in 2018. It is the fastest growing segment in crop protection.
North America (USA and Canada) represents 40 percent of the global demand for biopesticides. That demand is driven by a number of factors that include the increased interest in green agricultural practices, and the loss of many conventional products to reregistration and/or performance issues. Product development has also driven up demand for biopesticides. Today more and better biological active ingredients and products are available that can compete with, as well as complement conventional chemical pesticides. Demand, too, is driven by our increased knowledge about biopesticides and how to use them. More applied research and on-farm demonstrations are available than ever before. We’ve refined application rates and methods, and we have a better understanding of biological modes of action and how best to use them in pest management and crop production programs. Availability of biopesticides is important. There are more than 60 companies that are developing and/or selling biopesticide products today.
Biopesticides hold significant benefits for the PCA and the grower. Biopesticides offer:
One charge frequently leveled at biopesticide products is that they are expensive. Like conventional pesticides, some biocontrols do cost more to use per acre. But when biopesticides can solve a problem in the field, the products become cost-effective. Here are some real world uses of biopesticides:
Growers are willing to purchase a low load copper product that costs two times the price of a traditional copper fungicide to solve REI and crop phytotoxicity challenges.
Apple growers routinely add two different biologicals (yeast/bacteria) to counter fireblight resistance while preventing russetting.
Corn growers spend $4 more per acre for a combination of conventional and biological pesticides to achieve early season disease and insect control with infurrow applications.
In sweet corn, a viral biopesticide is combined with a traditional OP or pyrethroid to counter resistance and achieve better control and long-term residual worm control.
More biopesticides are applied to conventionally grown acres than are applied on organic acres. But, the use of biopesticides has allowed growers of certified organically grown crops to meet the increasingly high demand for organic food. Organic food sales have grown at least 10 percent annually since 2008, and in 2015 its growth was 12 percent. Total organic sales were $27 billion in 2012 and today they are at $38 billion or 4 percent of the total industry.
Biopesticides have found success and broad acceptance in the specialty agriculture, highvalue crops of vegetables, fruits, nuts and vines. Increasingly, as PCAs and growers of row crops examine the use of biopesticides, they will jump on the biopesticide bandwagon, too.Download the full article.
In “Interview with Tim Damico, Certis USA,” Joe Kertzman, managing editor of Badger Common’Tater, covers the company’s history, its future and its product profile for potatoes.Click here to download the article
Vegetables West covers the Fall meeting of the BPIA in Orlando. Certis USA’s Tim Damico is interviewed.Click here to download the article
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