According to CropTec Biocontrol Hub sponsor UPL, farmers are increasingly turning to biocontrols and biostimulants as they seek alternatives to conventional pesticides.
“True biocontrol products are registered using the same rigorous process as conventional products so growers can have confidence they will perform reliably. Biocontrol products use different modes of action depending upon composition and desired outcome. For example, elicitors or pathogenic fungi may be used to combat diseases whilst viruses can be used to control pests.
“Biocontrol is a rapidly developing area of crop protection with great potential to help us meet production demands of the future,” said UPL.
Unlike biocontrol products, biostimulants are not registered for use in disease or pest control but can have a beneficial effect on crop establishment, tolerance and recovery, helping crops to grow away from challenging situations, said the company.
“Biostimulants are typically used to stimulate the plant’s chemical processes, optimise nutrient uptake and efficiency resulting in improved health and resilience. Common examples are seaweed extracts and phosphonates. Microbes such as bacteria, trichoderma and mycorrhizal fungi can also be used to stimulate and optimise crop health.”
UPL launched a range of biocontrol and biostimulant products in the Biocontrol Hub. These included Thiopron, a liquid formulation containing sulphur, offering a biocontrol and multisite partner option registered as a fungicide for use in cereals.
It also launched Iodus, a new registered fungicide aimed at winter wheat for the control of septoria and reduction of powdery mildew.
Finally, UPL has brought Vitalroot, a biostimulant containing GA142, its unique plant extract, to the market. With a wide crop label, Vitalroot promotes rooting and shooting in most arable crops, and tillering in cereals, said the company.