Research reveals biopesticide mixing potential

22-06-2022    09:48   |    Ag News

Combining biopesticides in a single spray could help growers target multiple pests more effectively. This article explores the findings of recent laboratory screens and a research review that aimed to advance understanding of the technique.

Biological control

Biopesticides or bioprotectants are crop protection agents based on micro-organisms or organic compounds.

Inspired by nature, biological products provide alternative options to conventional synthetic chemistry and are often compatible with integrated pest management (IPM).

Such alternatives also include biocontrols, which are based on organisms that predate or parasitise pests.

As with many crop production innovations, most initial activity in biopesticide application was in horticulture – especially in the relatively controlled environments afforded by protected systems.

The demand from growers for robust information on biopesticide use led AHDB to invest in work to tackle the unique complexities associated with this relatively new frontier.

Due to their biological nature, biopesticide performance is influenced by many factors, including humidity, temperature and the specifics of the pest population – such as its size and growth stage of individuals.

Tank-mix tests

Another challenge is that biopesticides are relatively selective, with control often limited to one or few pests. To control a wider variety of pests, more sprays may be required – and this has financial, time, and, potentially, environmental implications.

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