What is microbiology and what is its performance in crops?

This area addresses the study of microorganisms present in agroecosystems such as soil, plants, and the atmosphere. Next, what is its role against pests and diseases, its benefits, the difference with chemicals and the market share of Argentina.

Brand Studio for Rizobacter

The market for biological products for agriculture grows exponentially year by year and Argentina can become one of the main world suppliers. Until 2022, this business will grow 12,8% and mobilize 11.3 billion dollars, driven by the benefits they offer for the soil and the growing demand for healthy and environmental food products, and the greater regulatory requirements of governments, according to various studies.

The country today appears as one of the main players in the market, with companies that develop biologicals to protect crops from pests and diseases and improve plant productivity and fertility. The focus of Argentine companies is on extensive crops such as soybeans and other legumes, which today represent 22,3% of the global market. 28,6% of the market falls on crops such as cereals and grains, while 27,6% is taken by fruits and vegetables. Protecting crops from pests and diseases and improving plant productivity and fertility is key.

“The growth expectations respond to several factors. These products They do not pollute, prevent soil degradation, are even cheaper and safer for the producer and improve the quality and productivity of the crops, favoring regenerative agriculture. This is combined with the higher demand for food, the higher regulatory demands of countries that want fewer uses of chemicals and the demands of the consumer himself ”, explains Matías Gorski, product manager of Inoculantes de Rhizobacter, the first Argentine agricultural microbiology company to be positioned among the top 5 in the world in its field.

Today biological products are efficient to protect crops from pests and diseases and to improve the productivity and fertility of plants.

"In our country, for example, 90% of the soybeans are inoculated, that is, treated with this technology and we see how the use in other crops expands day by day. At the same time, developments and supply are multiplying to achieve comprehensive solutions for the producer and access new markets ”, highlights the company's expert, which in two years achieved 40 biotechnology registrations to be commercialized in international markets.

Players and markets

The main chemical companies began to develop more and more specific biological units or companies within their portfolio. Argentina is one of the most competitive markets in the world where there are more than 100 companies with registered products and high quality standards, which have already gained participation in demanding markets and have the opportunity to continue growing in a difficult economic context like the current one.

In terms of market size, the most developed are Europe and the United States with growth rates in recent years of 13% and a share of 30%. Asia Pacific and Latin America follow.

In the country there are more than 100 companies with registered biological products and high quality standards.

The Challenges Ahead

Today organic products represent less than 5% of the market for agricultural products and experts and companies agree that they can increase their participation against chemicals if they extend their useful life, stabilize their results and consolidate a comprehensive offer.

“Today there are many challenges but also opportunities. The cost of developing biologicals is lower and the results are safer and more sustainable. We have to work on multiplying the products in order to have a greater reach ”, concludes Gorski.

True sustainable agriculture

Agricultural microbiology is a sustainable response for a planet that screams multiple challenges with climate change and in which food security is essential.

Biological products for agriculture are formulated by natural components: microorganisms (mainly bacteria and fungi); plant extracts and organic substances. They do not have any toxic effect on soil or water resources and they are safe for all forms of life. They even contribute to the enrichment of soils and slow down their erosion while improving yields and protecting crops.

In addition, They are also safe for the producer who uses them and does not run the risk of contamination or poisoning. These advantages are present in all types of bio products: biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers.

Due to its multiple benefits, experts and companies agree that biological products can expand their participation compared to chemicals. Today they represent less than 5% of the market for agricultural products.

Biofertilizers and biostimulants are supplements for plant nutrition, but they do not affect the control of pests. Biopesticides formulated with microorganisms defend the crop against external agents (pests and diseases).

Business and results available to Argentine companies and producers

The development of biological products is substantially lower than that of chemists in terms of costs: registering a new chemical molecule costs between 50 and 150 million dollars, while in the case of a biological can have a record for $ 150.000.

“This allows us to face multiple developments and work to offer producers more comprehensive solutions. Biologics work in a more specific way and that is why they have a more limited useful life, they demand to think about disease control from a different perspective ", Gorski explains and adds:" That is why it is important to continue working and multiplying the supply to build more complete packages and show the clear advantages of this response that nature gives us. " The cost variable also becomes attractive for the producer, particularly that of soybeans and legumes: fertilizing with urea costs 250 dollars while with the inoculant it does not exceed 3 dollars per hectare. The return on investment is 20: 1 for every dollar invested.


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