Growers have fewer and fewer pesticides to choose from


Even the most comprehensive approval process cannot predict all possible effects of a new pesticide. Over time, some are discovered to have unacceptable effects for human or environmental health. In other cases, the standard for what is perceived “acceptable” changes over time. Accordingly, governments and regulating agencies move to ban certain insecticides or introduce stricter rules for their use. The European Union, for instance, intend to reduce the use of pesticides by 50% from 2020 to 2030.

This puts pressure on the agrochemical companies. They want to do everything possible to extend the useful life of their existing products. Yet, faced with a limited pipeline of new pesticides, exacerbated by high development cost for new products, they are looking for alternatives. Increasingly, they are talking about Integrated Pest Management and inclusion of biological products in their portfolios.

A dwindling number of approved pesticides leaves growers with less choice. The risk of crop failure increases as some pests cannot be treated effectively, in turn increasing the risk of building insect resistance to the remaining pesticides.