As the pest control pipeline dwindles, growers look to environmentally friendly options


With the number of approved pesticides declining, and a limited pipeline, growers urgently need sustainable solutions.

Even the most comprehensive approval process cannot predict all possible effects of a new pesticide. Over time, some of the products that have been approved for use are discovered to produce unacceptable side effects for the environment or for human health. In other cases, the standard for what is “acceptable” moves over time, in line with the opinion of consumers and regulators.

The net result is that growers have fewer and fewer chemical pesticides to choose from, which increases crop losses because some pests simply cannot be treated effectively with the available pesticides, increasing the risk of creating insect resistance to the remaining pesticides.

In addition to the pressure on existing pesticides, the plant protection industry has a limited pipeline of new chemical pesticides, and faces a very high development cost for new products. In other words, regulatory pressure means that growers have fewer available solutions within traditional crop protection chemicals than ever, and increasingly need to use safer biological alternatives.