A sturdy inclination of consumers towards organic, chemical-free, and transparent products is facilitating the agricultural bracket with an array of bio-based products. The advent of bio-based products is in line with sustainable cultivation in the agricultural space, resulting in amplifying dependence on biological crop protection methods and naturally-derived pest-control products.
Biopesticides, although in their nascent phase, are garnering a good reputation owing to the benefits regarding the environmental preservation and adaptability in the integrated pest management (IPM) schemes. The unique manner of action of biopesticides aid counter resistance, while being very safe for farmers, and workers. Biopesticides are compatible with natural rivals, making them suitable companion products in bio-control programs. Majority of biopesticides exhibit short REIs (Re-entry Interval) and PHIs (Pre-harvest Interval), as such they pose minimal threat on regular crop control operations.
Biopesticides are applied as leaf sprays or to the substrate following functional compatibility with bio-control agents. In chrysanthemums, bioinsecticides, combined with insect-parasitic nematodes and leaf and soil-dwelling predatory mites, are regularly used to control insects. Exercising good spraying activities is essential to achieve efficacy. Hydraulic sprinklers offer great protection of top and bottom leaf surfaces, while automated low volume mist (LVM), used to apply bioinsecticides, deliver similar levels of leaf protection.
Bioinsecticides, Biofungicides, Bioherbicides, and Viral Biopesticides for Shielding Crops from Infectious Microorganisms and Weeds
Bioinsecticides, applied in trace amounts, hinder the growth of plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi. Species of moths, butterflies, and mosquitoes are the favorite targets of bioinsecticides. To achieve optimum outcome, bioinsecticides are contacted with the target pest followed by absorption inside the crops.
Biofungicides exhibit multiple modes of action, necessary to suppress diseases and complement plant benefits by occupying the root surface. Trichoderma and Bacillus species produce phytohormones, improving root development, or create biofilms throughout the root surface, improving plant robustness to drought. As such, biofungicides perform biostimulant functions. In addition, biofungicides do not require to be infused inside the crops akin to bioinsecticides.
Viral biopesticides portray a significant role in diverse kinds of handling crops, majorly including elimination of bacteria that leads to plant abnormalities by infecting the cell wall. Viral biopesticides are support environmental conservation following minimal after effects on the crops post employment.
Weed development pose a serious threat to crop production. While synthetic herbicides prove to be effective in countering the growth of weeds, yet their effectiveness is challenged due to resistance development. Bioherbicides, derived from living organisms or natural metabolites of plant, are a suitable alternative for weed control. Bioherbicides – phytopathogenic fungi – impede physiological actions of weeds, including nutrient absorption, photosynthesis, as well as hamper cellular functions – cell wall and cell membrane, hormone and toxic discharge.
Ineffective Crop Protection – A Challenge Hindering the Demand for Biopesticides
Although biopesticides are replacing their synthetic counterparts, they carry a certain of disadvantages. Prior application, applicators are supposed to perform extensive research on the kind of biopesticides required to be used due to diversity of pest species. As such, high specificity is essential for the biopesticides to affect desirably.
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Snail-paced action of biopesticides make them inefficient to get rid of immediate outbreaks of crop infectors. Further, biopesticides are not able to shield crops for a prolonged duration due to degradation at rapid rate. Frequent reapplication becomes necessary every season, as such, farmers are continuing to rely on chemical-based pesticides for faster gains.