Biopesticides for use in oilseed rape and potatoes to help control diseases and promote crop growth could be on the market in the UK within five years, according to AgraQuest's Ashish Malik, senior vice-president of global marketing.
The firm is currently developing pesticides based on various microbes, particularly bacillus species, with partner firms in Europe for use in broad-acre crops. Currently most sales of its products, such as Serenade through BASF, are for use in speciality crops.
The concept of using biopesticides in broadacre crops had first been tested in North America, he told Farmers Weekly at CropWorld. A soil fungicide, Serenade Soil, for use in potato crops had taken a 10% market share of the soil fungicide market in the USA, while the firm hoped for a similar market share from a foliar version of Serenade due for launch to control sclerotinia in canola (oilseed rape) in Canada.
"In two years of trials we have shown a single spray of Serenade can be as efficacious as a single spray of synthetic pesticides."