Biologicals can help manage pests in ’22


Biologicals can help manage pests in ’22

Many farmers are becoming more interested in adding biologicals to their crop management plan.

Matthew Pye is a biologicals subject matter expert with FMC Corporation.  

“We feel they have a lot of potential in terms of resistance management, sustainable agriculture, and environmental stewardship,” he says.

He says biologicals are a viable pest management tool.

“For row crops we believe they can be if growers are educated in the best uses and practices for biologicals especially if the biologicals are paired with a synthetic,” he says. “We have both pure play biologicals and biologicals that are pre-mixed with synthetics, so they have that 1-2 punch or slightly different modes of action to tackle different pests.”

Advice he has for growers is “do your homework, do a little bit of research into what’s available, and think about how most biologicals need to be used preventatively. So that means you should be aware of the problems that you have and pest pressure that you have. A lot of biologicals are not going to work if you have overwhelming pest pressure but if you get ahead of your problem, biologicals are a viable option for treating.”  

Pye says the biological segment is growing globally by about 15 percent each year and FMC has outpaced that trend a little bit.  

FMC’s Ethos XB, an insecticide and biofungicide available for in-furrow application in row crops, has been available since 2016 and 3RIVE, a foam version of that formulation, can be applied with other 3RIVE formulated products for custom blends on the planter by the farmer.

He says FMC has some novel biologicals coming to the market in the next couple of years for soil diseases, nematode pests, and more.