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What are Biologicals and why are they important for sustainable agriculture?

When we think about future agriculture, we already know that the role of the farmer is not going to be easy. On one hand, concerns are increasing about the occurrence of new crop pests and pathogens, resistance issues to traditional products, and the severe effects of abiotic stresses on plants due to climate change. On the other, the need to produce enough to feed the global population is more and more pressing in a world where health, peace and cooperation can't be taken for granted. Farmers need more and diverse solutions at their disposal to maintain outputs, quality and margins while keeping an eye on the health of the environment.

Biologicals are a category of products for plant protection, growth and health, containing naturally occurring molecules, organisms or both. Taking root on a deep knowledge of physiological mechanisms and raw materials, Biologicals can be used as a complement to traditional inputs to address agricultural needs in an innovative way: with a view to ecosystem conservation, sustainable production increase, and efficient resources management. 

Covering a large range of products for old and novel agricultural needs, Biologicals can be classified into two main categories:  

  • Biostimulants stimulate physiological processes in plants to make them healthier and more productive: namely, by optimizing nutrient use efficiency and availability in the soil, by increasing crop quality and enhancing the plants’ resilience to abiotic stresses due to harsh environmental conditions. Biostimulants also include Biofertilizers.

  • Biocontrol are products that help plants tackle biotic stresses, such as fungal or bacterial infections, parasites, pests and weeds.

 

Biologicals can contain*

Active molecules and ingredients contained in plants or algae, which have an enhancing effect on plant physiology or act as a control agent towards target pests.

Organic molecules normally present in the rhizosphere and involved in plants’ vital functions, such as solubilization and uptake of nutrients. Among those, humic and fulvic acids play a major role.

The building blocks of proteins, they provide positive effects on plant physiology, either administered as free aminoacids and as protein hydrolysates.

Naturally-occurring molecules used for signalling among organisms, using to alter the behavior of a target pest without toxic effects.

Compounds of mineral origin that can be used for controlling various categories of pests.

Beneficial microorganisms whose role is to increase the availability of nutrients in soil, create symbiotic associations with plants and help tackle biotic stress agents.

Macro-organisms, like insects, mites or nematodes, used as a biocontrol method based on the concept of “natural enemy”.

 

*The above is an internal elaboration from Dunham Trimmer LLC. The list is indicative only and it is meant to give the reader an overview of the possible principal components that can be included in Biostimulants and/or Biocontrol products. 
Please note that not all the components mentioned above are suitable for both categories.

 

 

Valagro and Syngenta: shaping the Biologicals world

Since 1980, Valagro has the goal of creating “a sustainable future for people and nature”, by providing farmers innovative agricultural products with a sustainability-centered approach. We have become pioneers in the field of biostimulants thanks to the awareness that the unmet needs of the growers require novel and smart solutions, which can be obtained only by putting Science at the service of Nature.

With the entrance in Syngenta Crop Protection in 2020, Valagro is now contributing with its experience as a top-in-the-market biostimulants company to the creation of a world-leading Biologicals business. The merging has opened up for new and previously unimaginable synergies among the two companies, which are now prepared to shape the future of Biologicals together by leveraging on innovation and sustainability with a particular focus on soil health and plant health.

Moreover, the Valagro and Syngenta teams together are able to offer now an even wider range of solutions in the Biologicals world, both in the field of Biostimulants and Biocontrol.

If you wish to know more about the innovative Biostimulants in Valagro's portfolio, check out our Products

If you are interested in discovering the Syngenta Biologicals solutions, visit Syngenta Biologicals web page.

 

The innovation behind Biologicals: how we make our Biostimulants

Our Biologicals are designed, formulated and brought to market by means of our proprietary technology platform GeaPower®.

GeaPower® provides a systematic approach for the development and production of Biologicals by leveraging on a combination of technologies, processes, know-how, and trade-secret knowledge. Inside our proprietary platform, Chemistry, Formulation development, Microbiology, Plant Science and “Omic Sciences” are integrated on a long-term experience basis and used to transform useful active ingredients into effective solutions that meet the expectations and needs of the farmers.

 

Watch the videos to follow us in our laboratories, greenhouses and in open field, and find out more about how Biologicals are created!

 

To find out more information on our biostimulants download e-Hub app or visit the portal