Biopesticides 2021 covers biofungicides, bioinsecticides, bionematicides and bioherbicides for crop protection. The roles of macro-organisms and semiochemicals in crop protection are also covered briefly.
The biopesticides sector comprises products based on microorganisms, biochemicals extracted from biological sources, semiochemicals and macrobials (largely invertebrates) used for pest control. Recent interest in products that enhance crop growth and yield is resulting in the emergence of two new sectors covering plant stress products and biostimulants. These are covered in other IHS Markit Crop Science reports.
Biopesticides have advantages including specific action against particular targets and low environmental impact; but must be used carefully in integrated crop management systems acknowledging that they may be slow to take effect and have little residual action.
The biopesticides sector is generally estimated to be worth around $5 billion per annum in 2020 with continued very strong growth. Projections to 2025 indicate a market size of around $8+ billion.
The biopesticide share of the global crop protection market is about 5%. However, there is currently negligible use of biological control in the herbicide sector, so considering only control of insect pests, nematodes and pathogens, the share is around 12%. In the fruit and vegetable sector, which accounts for about 90% of biopesticide usage, their market share is more than 18%.
The drivers for growth come from a number of sources, e.g. the difficulties involved with finding and registering new crop protection chemicals, and the demands of food companies and consumers for low residues.
Microbial products are the largest and most valuable category, especially Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) products. Biofungicides and bioinsecticides take most of the market. Bionematicides are growing fast from a low base. Important active ingredients in addition to Bt are Bacillus subtilis, Trichoderma spp., (biofungicides); Beauveria bassiana (bioinsecticide); Bacillus firmus and Paecilonyces lilacinus (bionematicides).
Europe and N. America vie for the largest regional market share at over 30% each. Latin America has the fastest growing market. The US accounts for 37% of the global biopesticide market.
In the US, there are specific regulatory definitions and paths for biopesticides resulting in considerably faster and cheaper registration than in Europe.
In Europe, although there are various incentives to promote the commercialisation and use of biopesticides, products based on microorganisms or biochemical extracts generally follow the same regulatory path as chemicals.
Leading industry organisations include the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association, the Biopesticide Industry Alliance and the International Organisation for Biological Control. BioProtection Global is a worldwide federation of biocontrol and biopesticide industry associations.
Chapter 1 Introduction provides a brief summary of the biologicals market and the trends and drivers
Chapter 2: Biofungicides Many fungi, bacteria and extracts, mainly of bacterial origin, have been developed as products to control diseases and improve plant health by stimulating plant immune systems. This chapter describes the commercial background for use of biofungicides, the main classes in use and their applications and a summary of new product launches is presented with a listing of recent PCT patent applications.
Chapter 3: Bioinsecticides Structured as Chapter 2. Biopesticides used to control insects and similar pests include those based on bacteria, fungi, baculoviruses, extracts of natural biochemicals, beneficial nematodes and other invertebrates. Semiochemicals are used to monitor and control insect populations. RNAi is being used as a research tool in entomology and as a means of crop protection and pest control, either via GM plants or by direct application. A major driver is the need to tackle resistance to insecticides.
Chapter 4: Bionematicides Structured as Chapter 2. Bionematicides are proving to be an attractive new market with a significant number of new active ingredients being launched over the past few years. Nematodes are soil-dwelling microscopic roundworms. Typical losses from infestations in individual crops range from about 5% in cereals to 20% in potatoes and tomatoes, with a total global value of losses exceeding $100 billion. Major new bionematicide products approved or launched over the past five years are listed.
Chapter 5: Bioherbicides Structured as Chapter 2. There are no bioherbicides widely used in commercial practice, although some niche products exist. However, there is interest in developing the potential of the concept of biological weed control, especially in integrated pest management (IPM) systems. A surprising number of microbials, biochemical extracts and even macrobials have been researched and used in practice for certain applications.
Chapter 6: Agrochemical Companies Crop protection majors covered are BASF, Bayer CropScience, Corteva, FMC and Syngenta. Other crop protection companies with biopesticide portfolios included are: Adama, Gowan, Ihara, Isagro, Nufarm and UPL. New product developments and patents are listed and described.
Chapter 7: Biologicals Crop Protection Companies The biological crop protection sector is a vibrant one, with several large global or multi-regional companies including Andermatt, Certis, and Koppert. Many of the specialist companies outlined here have R&D collaborations and sales and marketing agreements with the crop protection majors. Some, such as AgBiome, are start-ups with investment from venture capital units of major agrochemical companies.
Chapter 8: Production, Formulation, Application Examples of production, formulation and application featuring products covered in other chapters of this report are given, with brief profiles of some organisations specialising in and researching the formulation and application of biopesticides.
About the author
Alan Baylis is an independent consultant with more than 30 years' experience in world agriculture: from running a UK arable farm to international R&D management in Syngenta and previously in Zeneca Agrochemicals and ICI Agrochemicals.
An agronomist and crop physiologist, he has specialised in many aspects of crop production and protection in global cropping systems. His career has covered the discovery process for all crop protection products, through glasshouse and worldwide field-testing to technical marketing.
He is currently Chair of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Board of Trustees and past-Chair of SCI Agrisciences Group. He has BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Leeds and an MBA from Henley Business School.
He is the author of many reports, peer-reviewed publications, conference papers and other articles.
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