Biological Products Finding More Demand

Biological Products Industry Alliance Growing Rapidly

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) was started 16 years ago for only five biopesticide member companies. Now there are 129 member companies and membership ranges from manufacturers of biopesticides and biostimulants to service providers, marketers, distributors, and anybody who touches this industry.

Keith Jones is executive director of the BPIA. He said during a recent meeting in Rochester, NY, that the alliance is growing.

“The running theme for the event was the growth of our association, the growth of the industry, and much of that is driven by consumer demand, regulatory pressures, and just a real move towards a sustainable future in agriculture and other markets where biological products are used,” Jones explained.

Biological products got their start in commercial agriculture, such as fruits and vegetables but have grown in demand by other markets like golf courses and ornamental operations. Among the earliest biologicals used in production agriculture are B.t. products.

“For a variety of reasons, some traditional chemistries are losing efficacy because of pests developing resistance,” Jones said. “Biologicals can be helpful with that. They don’t replace traditional chemistries, but they can actually extend the life of traditional chemistries.”

Biologicals are all part of integrated pest management and can be used during different parts of the production season, where conventional products are not labeled for use.

Biologicals can be used at the onset of a growing season and when getting close to harvest, because there are less or no pre-harvest intervals.

“What’s great about biologicals is that most of them have multiple modes of action, so it’s very hard for the pests to become resistant to that,” said Jones, adding that, “There are many benefits of biologicals, and their acceptance is growing rapidly.”

Jones said that biological products don’t replace traditional chemistries, but they can actually extend the life of traditional chemistries.

Lallemand Plant Care Acts as a Voice for the Industry

Microbes Company Promotes Biostimulants for Ag

By Mikenzi Meyers, Contributing Editor

The term “regulation” is often an unattractive vernacular for farmers and ranchers, just as “pesticide” or “chemical use” would be for the uneducated public. Amy Roberts, Regulatory Affairs Manager for Lallemand Plant Care based in Montreal, Canada, is working to make both sides come together.

California Ag Today caught her comments at the 2018 Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) Fall Meeting and Sustainability Symposium in Rochester. Roberts has been appointed the 2019 chair of BPIA

Lallemand Plant Care is a company that specializes in the use of microbes in agriculture for pesticides and biostimulants. However, Roberts has assisted them in taking on an even greater task.

“We’d like to be a voice to help improve things in a regulatory standpoint and perception standpoint,” she explained, and with the organization growing to represent the industry as a whole, “the goal seems tangible.”

This doesn’t come without its obstacles though, and Roberts noted that there is a lack of clarity for the regulatory framework, making products harder to market.

“It’s challenging for people to market them, and it’s challenging for growers and users to understand what they are and how they should be using them,” she said.

This combined with the continuous hesitation towards pesticides and biostimulants from people unfamiliar with the industry makes education and understanding on both ends that much more important.

More information can be found at www.bpia.org

AVIV, A New Tool for Growers

AVIV Low-Dose Biofungicide Now Available in California

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

STK Bio-ag technologies, the innovative Israel-based leader in biopesticides, announced that its new biofungicide AVIV, which has already been approved by 25 states in the US, has now been approved for use by California for a wide range of fruits and vegetables and TNV crops, including grapes, strawberries, and leafy vegetables.

AVIV biofungicide’s active ingredient is the most potent strain of Bacillus subtilis (AB/BS03) currently available, providing broad-spectrum disease control in both soil and on plant surfaces. In addition to its efficacy, AVIV can be used in low-dose rates. It also has a shelf-life of 36 months.

According to Neal Job, STK USA Business Manager, “We are happy that California has approved AVIV for use on fruits and vegetables. AVIV will be an effective and sustainable new tool for California growers, enabling them to lower chemical residues, increase yields and be more competitive in US and export markets.”

STK CEO Guy Elitzur added, “STK is pleased to bring new AVIV to California and other growers across the US. STK is providing innovative bio-based solutions in over 30 countries to meet the world’s food protection needs from field to fork.”

Biofungicides are considered the new frontier of insect and disease control in that the materials have no re-entry or pre-harvest intervals and do not carry any maximum residue levels (MRLs).

Timorex Gold, Broad-spectrum Biofungicide

Biofungicide Timorex Gold to Help Western Vegetable Growers Fight Disease Pressure

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

The U.S. EPA has approved Timorex Gold, a new broad-spectrum reduced-risk biopesticide that is already a leading biofungicide in Latin America to control black sigatoka, a leaf-spot fungal disease on bananas, for various domestic crops such as tomatoes, strawberries, as well as other berries, cucurbits, grapes, tree nuts, and lettuce.

Stockton photo Strawberries & Blueberries beautiful!Timorex Gold is well positioned for American crops because it is known to be effective on powdery mildew and Botrytis on strawberries and tomatoes, plus bacterial blight on tomatoes.

Sarah Reiter, country manager of STK Stockton, an innovative Israeli company that opened its U.S. headquarters in Davis, CA. “We are very excited about the products performance we are seeing in areas where it is registered,” said Reiter. “We are happy with the label the EPA granted us. We still await registration in California and anticipate it next year or possibly late this season.”

Reiter noted the highly effective active ingredient in Timorex Gold, the plant extract Meluleuca alternifolia, or tea tree oil, gives growers a powerful new tool to control both bacteria and fungi diseases. “We know growers do not have a lot of choices for bacterial control,” said Reiter, “so any new active ingredient is a good thing. This product has the added bonus of being a fungicide too.”

“Timorex Gold has been established as a primary control product for sigatoka because it performs so well,” Reiter commented. “Growers use it because of its profile, and it’s easy to use. And while the product is a biopesticide, once the growers get it in their hands, they tend to forget it’s a biopesticide because it performs as if it is a synthetic material.”

timorexgold STK Stockton Group“As an industry we have been looking for this for quite a long time,” Reiter reflected. “While biologics have been around for a century, historically, growers would have to give up some levels of control in order to implement them into a conventional program. We do not see that loss when using Timorex Gold against sigatoka disease.”

“Our expectation in the U.S. is that growers will see that same high level of performance when they use the product here,” Reiter said. “And since Timorex Gold is a biological, there is no concern for Maximum Residue Level (MRL) data because there is no residue on the crop. The product will have very short re-entry intervals (REIs) and preharvest intervals (PHIs), as well as flexible application intervals, a strength that growers like because it gives them a lot of flexibility to implement the product into their program when they need to instead of having to manage REIs and PHIs.”

In addition, Timorex Gold has a very low designation of FRAC 7¹, which means the product has a unique mode of action that can be used in alternate succession with other fungicide modes of action to prevent the development of resistance.

Concurrently, STK Stockton continues to invest heavily in its new technology pipeline with the intention of bringing more innovative biopesticides into different markets. As part of these efforts, the company has recently announced the appointment of Shay Shaanan as the new vice president R&D, leading the company’s activities. The former global development manager of the fungicides division at ADAMA (formerly Makhteshim Agan), Shaanan has over 15 years of experience in research and commercialization of crop protection products.

“Having Shay join our team marks another significant milestone in our growth strategy. It reflects our commitment to advance our technologies and provide the agriculture industry with new solutions for sustainable agriculture.” explained Guy Elitzur, CEO of STK Stockton. “Shay will lead our R&D and will be of enormous value in moving our company forward. Additionally, we will be looking for in-licensing partners, including bio companies in the U.S. to broaden our product offerings.” said Elitzur.

The products of Stockton will be sold under the Syngenta brand for Botrytis and Powdery Mildew in ornamentals globally. The biofungicide technology complements the comprehensive fungicide portfolio of Syngenta and will help to provide its customers with innovative sustainable tools for disease resistance management.

“We are very excited about this agreement,” Elitzur commented, “as Syngenta is the perfect partner for our new products in ornamentals.”

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¹FRAC is a Specialist Technical Group of CropLife International (CLI) that provides fungicide resistance management guidelines to prolong the effectiveness of “at risk” fungicides and to limit crop losses should resistance occur.

The main aims of FRAC are to:

  1. Identify existing and potential resistance problems.
  2. Identify existing and potential resistance problems.
  3. Collate information and distribute it to those involved with
    fungicide research, distribution, registration and use.
  4. Provide guidelines and advice on the use of fungicides to reduce the risk of resistance developing, and to manage it should it occur
  5. Recommend procedures for use in fungicide resistance studies.
  6. Stimulate open liaison and collaboration with universities, government agencies, advisors, extension workers, distributors and farmers.

Biocontrols Conference & Expo

Biocontrols Conference & Expo, March 3-4, 2016, Monterey, California 

Learn everything you need to know about agricultural biocontrols from the experts.  

 

Join your peers, leading organizations and industry experts at the Biocontrols Conference & Expo for two days of hands-on education devoted solely to the use of biocontrols in agriculture presented by Meister Media Worldwide, a media solutions provider for worldwide specialized agriculture, in cooperation with the Biopesticides Industry Alliance (BPIA), and the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA). The Biocontrols Conference offers educational sessions, continuing education credits (CEUs) for pest control advisers (PCAs), certified crop advisers (CCAs) and other state certification programs, and an expansive Expo with top suppliers of biocontrol products and related services.

New for 2016!  

Two optional, concurrent add-ons on the last afternoon of the event (additional fees may apply):

1.Tour of two leading Monterey-area specialty-crop growing operations that use biocontrols as part of their integrated pest management programs:

-Biocontrols USA Tour

-Pacific Plug and Liner,  Watsonville, CA

2.Hands-on workshop on the use of beneficial insects in a greenhouse environment

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Agenda Sampling:

-8 Tips To Get The Most Out of Your Biocontrols Program

-A look at the most common active ingredients and how to handle them to get the best results, Lance Osborn, UF IFAS

-What’s Next In Biocontrol?

-Regulatory Update, Bob McNally, EPA

-Pipeline Update – what types of new products are coming?

-The Future Isn’t Biocontrol. It’s IPM

-Understand The Value of Biopesticides – Do they Pencil Out for You?

-How To Evaluate/Field Test a New Research Biopesticide

-Biopesticides and Beneficials: Make Them Work Together, Frank Sances, Pacific Ag

-Fruit and Tree Nuts: Hands-on, How-To Topics

-Using Green Lacewings in almond and pistachio, Brad Higbee, The Wonderful Co.

-Vegetables: Hands-on, How-To TopicsMycorrhizae: Why it Makes Sense in Strawberries, Johan Pienaar, Mycorrhizal Applications.

Monterey Bay, the conference location, is in close proximity to the heart of major California specialty-crop production: vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals in Monterey County and the Salinas Valley, and affords you the opportunity to tie-in a long weekend in the Monterey Bay area.

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Meister Media Worldwide and its leading family of brands including American Vegetable Grower®, Western Fruit Grower® / American Fruit Grower® and Greenhouse Grower®, CropLife®,

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Having celebrated its 15th anniversary in September 2015, BPIA is dedicated to fostering adoption of biopesticide technology through increased awareness about their effectiveness and full range of benefits to a progressive pest management program.

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Dedicated to the professional development and enhancement of its members’ education and stewardship, the California Association of Pest Control Advisers (CAPCA) represents more than 75% of the nearly 4,000 California EPA licensed pest control advisers (PCAs) that provide pest management consultation for the production of food, fiber and ornamental industries of this state.

IR-4 on Process and Trends of Biopesticides

Michael Braverman manages biopesticides for Rutgers University’s IR-4 Project in Princeton, New Jersey. The IR- 4 Project helps with research to get these safe and effective pest management products registered for use in specialty crops, the cornerstone of California agriculture.

“We have two main objectives,” said Braverman. “We have an efficacy grant program, where we fund researchers all across the United States to conduct field or greenhouse trials involving biopesticides to see how they can fit into real-world production systems. The other part of our program is a regulatory assistance program.  Biopesticides, like any crop protection products on the market, require EPA registration.  We work with university researchers who may have discovered a new organism, a plant extract or whatever it may be, and we help guide them through the EPA registration process,” said Braverman.

“There is certainly a trend towards use of biopesticides,” Braverman observed. “If you notice, major manufacturers—all the biggest companies—are now investing in research or purchasing smaller companies that are involved in the biopesticide market. So it’s really expanding very rapidly,” said Braverman.

Biopesticides Play a Bigger Role in Pest and Disease Control

By Colby Tibbet, California Ag Today Reporter

 

Pam Marrone, founder and CEO of Davis-based Marrone Bio Innovations, says biopesticides, a new frontier of pest control, works better when combined with conventional methods. “In the past, these biological products were standalone—like you see at your land grant colleges,” said Marrone.

“They would test standalone against the best cocktail chemicals. But where you see the best result is when they are incorporated into the mix,” said Marrone. “Likewise, nearly all the time, you see better results when biologicals are incorporated into the program than chemical-only programs, and you can validate that over and over again with on-farm demos,” added Marrone.

Marrone noted that biopesticides are price-competitive with traditional pesticides. “When you compare, dollar-for-dollar, today’s biopesticides are actually very cost-competitive. I think that’s a holdover from the past. There are high-priced and low-priced products—just like chemicals; you have sulfur and copper on the low end and chemical fungicides on the high-end.”

“It’s the same with biologicals. So, in our company, we looked at the full range of competitive products and priced in the middle-of-the-block to be competitive,” said Marrone.

“Historically the penetration has been in high-value fruits, nuts and vegetables,” Marrone said, “because of the issues of resistance, residues and worker re-entry. And that’s where the predominant use of these products remains, but there is now an interest is using them in the large-acre crops as well,” said Marrone.