Over 170 delegates gathered online on Tuesday to hear presentations from leading industry figures from across Europe, which considered how the bioprotection sector can work together to address the serious deterioration in soil health. It was concluded that part of the solution must involve the advancement of sustainable biological solutions – such as biopesticides and biostimulants – which will enhance global food security without damaging the soils on which our crops depend.
A major obstacle to upscaling biological solutions is finding the right adjuvants for optimal formulation. As with conventional pesticides, biological products must distribute evenly, adhere to the target, and persist for long enough to take effect. In addition, when formulating biological products, it is important that the adjuvant does not harm the active organism. Choosing the right biocompatible products that can achieve the right effects is a key goal, which frequently requires collaboration between innovators and industrial partners to ensure the optimal solution is found.
To explore the various challenges and solutions associated with the formulation of biologicals, the following experts shared their knowledge and expertise:
Jerry Alford, from the Soil Association, discussed Soil Health: The Foundation of Our Planet’s Future
Kevin Ashford, from UPL, spoke about Addressing soil and crop production challenges with Soil Health technologies
Hugo Carrasco, from Oro Agri Europe, addressed Benefits of biological v chemical control agents
Martin Shaw, from Croda, discussed The importance of formulation design in bioprotection products
Dr MInshad Ansari, from Bionema, spoke on A biocompatible wetting agent: Increasing the efficacy of biopesticides
Volodynyr Brut, BTU-CENTER, addressed Microbial polysaccharides as an alternative to chemical adjuvants
Renaud Perrin, Stepan Company, discussed Unlocking the potential of biologicals through formulation technology
Benjamin Langendorf, Momentive, presented on Organosilicone adjuvants for biological crop rotation products
Bex Lawson, Fera Science, addressed Using nematodes as soil health indicators
A range of solutions and novel technologies were presented, with a constant focus on the need for stakeholders to collaborate to innovate in this rapidly rising sector of AgriTech.
“Co-formulants can negatively impact survival and growth of microorganisms,” warned Renaud Perrin, Formulation Technical Specialist at Stepan Company. “Compatibility with co-formulants needs to be tested.”
“Using the right adjuvant for your biological product can increase its efficacy by up to 30%,” said Dr Minshad Ansari, CEO of Bionema Ltd and Chairman of the WBF.
“In recent years, the demand for bio-based adjuvants such as methylated seed oil (MSO), modified vegetable oils, and organo-modified siloxanes has been growing,” added Hugo Carrasco, Oro Agri Europe. “These biologically derived adjuvants are considered eco-friendly due to their high level of safety and biodegradability.”
As well as bringing the industry together to pool their knowledge in these important areas, the question & answer session following the presentations identified an issue with the organic certification of adjuvants which the WBF is now considering taking up as its next campaign issue, via collaboration with its extensive network of members and supporters.
A recording of the event is available to view free of charge at https://youtu.be/RLme6AahGBA
The discussion will continue at the Annual World BioProtection Summit & Awards, which will take place at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, from 23rd-25th May 2022. For further information about the summit, and to book tickets, please visit https://www.worldbioprotectionforum.com/events
The following experts would be delighted to answer questions pertaining to their work:
Hugo Carrasco firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Benjamin Langendorf email@example.com
Martin Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Bex Lawson and Neill Hogg Bex.Lawson@fera.co.uk; Neill.Hogg@fera.co.uk
For further information about the WBF, please contact:
Dr Sarah Harding, Director of Communications email@example.com