With the price and availability of some crop protection and fertilizer products, growers are looking for workable alternatives. One might be the use of biologicals. A growing number of biological products are providing growers with crop protection and soil fertility benefits. Matthew Pye, Biologicals Subject Matter Expert at FMC, says using biological products is easy and effective, “Learning to use biologicals is easy. It involves choosing the right product and the right practice.” Timing is also a factor. According to Pye timing includes “knowing when to put them out so things don’t get out of hand to the point that exceeds the capability of the product.”
Biological crop protection and soil fertility products are continuing to hit the market. Industry analysis forecasts a 12% growth in the biological industry over the next 10 years. In addition, biologicals are being combined with synthetic chemistry to expand effectiveness.
Pye says many of these products go in at planting and provide season long benefits. “You put them in the furrow when the seeds are planted. They are root colonizers so they there season long,” he stated, adding that research has shown improved plant health with the use of biological products.
Most of the major agricultural companies are working to bring new technology and biological products to the market, including Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, Monsanto, DOW, DuPont, ADAMA, FMC, Nufarm, Arysta, UPL, Mitsui Chemicals, Cheminova, and Sumitomo Chemical. Growing demand for “safe” food is behind the growth of these new products and practices. The current higher prices for fertilizer and the shortage of some crop chemicals may also fuel a greater interest in biological products.