Biological pesticides in agriculture

Biological pesticides in agriculture

Many companies, from startups to the world’s agrochemical giants, are trying to bring pesticides derived from natural materials, or biopesticides, to the market. Biological pesticides, from bacterial toxins to bee-borne fungi, are a new trend in agriculture. Pests and pathogens have grown resistant to many pesticides, and governments have phased out some old chemicals owing to environmental and health concerns, leading to interest in biopesticides. In Toronto, Bee Vectoring Technologies is conducting a trial to prove that bumble bees can protect the plants from gray mold by delivering a dose of a new biopesticide to the flowers. The possibilities are nearly endless: millions of species of microbes, insects, and other overlooked organisms live in our soils, fields, and streams, waiting to be tapped. These critters already infect and eat one another and manufacture chemicals that they use to protect themselves. Finding the right organism to counter a specific pest or blight is no easy task. And biopesticides are often specific to one type of pest or disease. That’s a plus from an environmental perspective, as it means they won’t wipe out beneficial organisms along with pathogens.

World’s Greatest New Breakthroughs Next
.