Biological Allies for Grains in Argentina
Nowadays, biological fungicides, insecticides and nematicides are an integral part of crop protection practices all over the world. They are either based on naturally occurring bacteria or fungal microorganisms or inspired in plant extracts, enabling farmers to improve their harvests, as well as to undertake the integrated management of diseases and fight agrochemicals resistance. In Argentina, new solutions for soy and corn crops are already considering biological products as a modern and safe alternative to provide higher productivity and more sustainability in agriculture.
The agricultural activity is very dynamic and many factors can affect its results. We see food available on our tables, but sometimes we have no idea of the challenges farmers have to face on the field in order to grow enough nutritious and healthy fruits, vegetables and grains for our daily consumption. Every year, between 20% and 40% of their potential harvests are lost due to pathogens, insects and weeds.
Being committed to help farmers overcome those barriers, Bayer has been investing in new agronomic solutions, which include, in addition to chemical products and enhanced seeds, innovations to protect crops based on biological products. They are becoming more and more important by fulfilling the needs of both the farmers and society, who have been increasingly demanding safer foods and more sustainable agriculture practices.
Pablo Fernández Poeta
In Argentina, farmers have been striving to incorporate technologies that enable them to obtain maximum performance and ensure economic benefits, based on good agricultural practices and care for the environment. Thus, the use of biological products has emerged as a great alternative and is already a reality in the cultivation of soy, whose cultivated area has reached 17.35 million hectares in 2018/2019, with a projected harvest of 56 million tons, according to the country´s Ministry of Agribusiness.
The differential of biological products is that they make it possible to generate a symbiosis between protection and the plant’s radicular system, providing better absorption of nutrients and nitrogen fixation. The result can be clearly seen in healthier and more robust plants – their utilization, added to the current seed treatment technology, also allows plant protection against drought, and thus generate even more value to farmers.
In soy cultivation, biological inoculants – that facilitate the absorption of nitrogen by the plant – are already being used in 75% of Argentina’s agricultural areas. Regarding corn crops, there is a trend to incorporate biological products based on fungi that improve rhizosphere generation, radicular growth and the absorption of low mobility nutrients, such as phosphorus.
These solutions are contributing to healthier plants, more protected soil and more productive harvests thanks to the use of technologies able to promote a balanced agricultural system. Biological products, as part of a whole, are enabling plants to manifest their maximum potential – and our role as a company dedicated to science for a better life is to keep developing new solutions based on innovation to help farmers in all regions.