Biopesticides are an alternative and additional option farmers have to fight pests and diseases and meet the requirements of the regulatory authorities and the consumers, who are demanding residue-free food safe for the environment at supermarkets.
Biopesticides are derived from natural materials, spliting into 2 types: biochemicals, which contain plant extracts, minerals, PGRs, semiochemicals and organic acids; and microbials, mainly bacteria and fungi.
CATEGORIES OF BIOPESTICIDES
They are extracts obtained from different parts of a plant (roots, leaves, fruits, bark, stems, and flowers), whole plants may be used or only parts of them. Plant extracts can be highly refined (a single active substance) or they can be a part of a complex mixture of components of which all or only a few, are biologically active. They are well-known substances for their functionality and do not present any health and/or environmental risks.
Microorganisms are bacteria, fungi, viruses, and phages which are host-specific and therefore non-toxic to humans, vertebrates and non-target organisms, with low environmental impact and no residues. All these features make these products a useful yet safe tool for pest control.
Biochemical compounds are natural substances used to control pests through non-toxic mechanisms, unlike pesticides which are generally synthetic substances that directly kill or inactivate pests. Biochemical compounds include substances that interfere with mating, such as insect sex pheromones, various aromatic plant extracts, that attract pests into traps, as well as enzymes, and vitamins. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine if a substance meets the criteria to be classified as a biochemical pesticide, EPA has established a special committee to make such decisions.
Biostimulants are products that symbiotically interact with plants increasing their nutritional efficiency, resistance to abiotic stress, crop quality, and the availability of soil nutrients. This new category of fertilizers is associated with plant nutrition and with having different modes of action and functionality, establishing a varied group of chemicals and microorganisms, with a difficult approach when it comes to regulation.
Registration at the MAPA in Mexico or APVMA in Australia, different groups fo biopesticides, how the FIFRA authorizes the EPA to review and register pesticides for specific uses, the non-existent regulatory framework in the EU... all these stories and many more on our corporate blog.