Crops always need care. Even if any of them is considered unpretentious and able to withstand adverse conditions. Proper care involves the timely treatment of plants with pest and disease protection. A number of such agents, namely biological preparations, are offered by BioCenter LLC from Odessa region.
So that the funds do not turn defense into an attack
Many of the agricultural producers, farmers, and simply summer residents believe that herbicides and chemical pesticides simply cannot be dispensed with, since a quick effect is achieved. But sometimes we get a result opposite to what was expected. The reason may lie in the violation of one of the basic conditions. It:
- the introduction of the drug;
- directly the drug that is used;
- application technology (sprayers).
But experts note that the technology for making drugs today does not meet the international level, and as a result, invested funds are lost and the environment is deteriorating.
The soil is particularly affected by chemicals and, in particular, pesticides. There is even the International Pesticide Action Network, and in 1998 it proclaimed December 3 as the International Day Against Pesticides (No Pesticides Use Day). This is done in order to draw attention to solving problems arising from the production and use of hazardous chemicals.
Guided by a reasonable attitude to soil, the environment and the consumer of agricultural products, manufacturers are increasingly paying attention to biological plant protection products. The topic becomes more relevant during warm winters, since in this case pathogenic organisms continue their life cycle. But in general, the production of such funds is growing, as the demand for agricultural products is growing, and this trend will intensify, as the world’s population increases, and with it the demand for resources. There is also a circle of enterprises and competing companies in the market for the production of plant protection products.
BioCenter LLC and its rules of the game on the market
Indeed, the market for biological plant protection products is expanding, and one of the major players in it is BioCenter LLC. About his rules of the game, you can immediately say this: to deliver high-quality goods, as well as to carry out agricultural support for the use of drugs. The commercial director of the company, the agricultural adviser on biological protection and the production of organic agricultural products at the Ministry of Agro-Industry, Nikolay Teteruk, will talk in detail about this. But first things first.
Talking about the formation of the company, it is impossible not to say about the volume of production over a period of almost 20 years, and here, as it turned out, they, according to Nikolai Teteruk, have grown no less than 100 times.
– As of 1990/91 in Ukraine there were more than 500 biological laboratories that were engaged in the production of biological products and entomoacariphages / natural means of controlling pests and parasites by destroying the latter by activating environmental counteraction /. In almost every district, at all plant protection stations, there was a biolaboratory. Then there were about fifty of them left, and only a few were working. Since 2002, we have relied on greenhouse plants. Chemical plant protection products during vegetation in greenhouses are prohibited at all. In addition, greenhouse plants had their own biological laboratories, and if they didn’t even work, then the teams and specialists remained who knew what biological products were and how to use them. It is worth noting that in greenhouses a favorable climate is not only for plants, but also for harmful organisms. Therefore, the first five years, greenhouse plants were the main consumers of our products, up to 70% of the total volume.
We planned to bet not only on greenhouse plants, but also on organic farms, because then the organic movement had already begun.
Growing healthy agricultural products is not as easy as it might seem, and it is not even a matter of conscientiousness in the quality of funds, the timing and technology of their introduction. Costs may be significantly greater than the allowable price for such products.
– Sometimes they ask: “Can you handle such a problem?” I say: “We can. But you don’t have enough money for it. ” The cost of a developed security system can be more expensive than the cost of the products you receive.
In our work, we proceed from the fact that it is not necessary to come up with something that is not advisable to implement. Protection should not exceed 10% of the cost of production.
True, sometimes the desire to save money or simply the hope of a “chance” turns into losses. Perhaps that is why a mass disease of wheat crops is now observed, plants are affected by septoria, which already means the death of plants and loss of yield, since the disease destroys all the aerial organs of the plant: leaves, leaf sheaths, stems, and ears. Is there anything you can do today? To this, Nikolai Teteruk notes that we are talking about what preventive measures had to be done since the fall.
– In the area where we grow something, there will always be pathogens. They did not go anywhere. To a large extent, this is due to the fact that we grow monocultures, and quite often with disturbances in crop rotation. The cost of biological products for preventive measures would be 235 UAH per hectare. It was necessary to cultivate the soil, plant residues with biological products based on antagonist fungi in order to suppress the development of pathogens. Nobody did this, they thought that everything would work out.
– It was necessary to invest 235 hryvnias per hectare, and what losses from the disease can be?
– It’s hard to predict. As with every disease, we see only symptoms. The last outbreak of Septoria on cereals was recorded in 1985-1986. Experts say that such outbreaks are repeated at intervals of 25-30 years. Losses can reach from 30% to a complete crop loss. Climatic conditions are also of great importance. If a rainy spring passes after a dry autumn and a snowless winter, then diseases can hardly be stopped. The problem is also that septoria affects a wide range of cultures, and in this field we are limited in our choice of cultures. It is necessary to choose one that can not only shoot, but also give a crop.
Chemists always say: “Do not be afraid … We will help.” And the means are called before aviation / for processing fields /. In the biomethod, I would say an ungrateful role. We say: “On the field, this is not wildlife. You grow a monoculture, and you accumulate harmful organisms, and no matter what we do, they will be here, because this is normal for them. They can be either more or less, depending on weather conditions. ” Therefore, preventive measures should be taken.
– Who develops protective equipment, the composition of each of them?
– Biological preparations for plant protection are developed, created by microbiologists. We are talking about biological products based on living microorganisms (fungi, bacteria and viruses). It is these drugs that are allowed in organic production. The biological product must contain the microorganism of the corresponding strain and the number of microorganisms in the unit volume must be no less than that indicated in the technical specifications.
We are manufacturers, we do not develop new drugs. We produce drugs that were developed back in the late 70s and 80s. We are talking about drugs based on living organisms that have been isolated from nature, which have shown themselves to be antagonists, predators or parasites in relation to pathogenic organisms.
We have modernized production technology. Now our technology guarantees a uniform product quality. Production is carried out in the laboratory, technologists are engaged in this. By the way, our leading experts have been doing their job for over 40 years. It seems that this is why people for 40-45 years did not come up with something of their own. Because they have an understanding of what a real product is, what is the purity of a culture, and not a cocktail of which organisms … When they say that a product has 5-6 components, and sometimes dozens, the question arises: what is growing? On one nutrient medium?
– What can be said about the effectiveness of funds from the BioCenter?
– As a company that produces and independently sells its products, we maintain close contact with consumers. This has already happened since the period when greenhouse plants were our main consumers, many still remain. Biological products based on truly living microorganisms have a limited shelf life of 2 months (according to TU). Therefore, trade “does not like” products with such restrictions. But there is an Agrocenter, Kamenka-Dneprovskaya, Auls, Veliki Kopani, Organic Farming Clubs and others that have been successfully working with our preparations for more than ten years. We work directly with large farms. The sales plan for the current year is formed during January-February, and we can adjust it depending on when the sowing starts – on March 20 or a week later. Being constantly in touch with our partners, we get feedback on the effectiveness of the drugs and the need for adjustments.
– Is your product being tested somewhere?
– Yes. We must, in accordance with the technical conditions, select a culture and passport, and this is being done. Introduced internal control at the production level, as well as control by an independent expert at the final stage.
– Do you have chemistry in your products?
There was somehow a proposal to make the shelf life for the drug 1 year, and for this it was necessary to introduce the chemical component there in a very meager dose, and then the product could be stored for 1-2 years. But why didn’t they? In general, according to the requirements that previously existed, it was possible. This is a purely psychological factor. It’s like producing live yogurt with a limited shelf life, or a sweet dessert called “yogurt” for a period of three months.
– Can you tell how effective your drugs are?
– Efficiency … There are many aspects of identifying the effectiveness of the application. The approach is purely individual. Why? Here is one pest, these are ticks. They are everywhere. Once you process it, the effect is wonderful, you process it the second time, the effect is much worse … If someone says that it is possible to process crops against a pest, and it will be gone, then I can say that this is not true. If you take ticks, they are like cancers: they molt four times in their life, and the development cycle from an egg to an adult takes from 12 to 30 days, depending on temperature. We work as a contact preparation, and at least half of the ticks molt, and now, when they are motionless, we hit him on the shell, and after a day and a half he got out from under the shell and ran. Therefore, treatment must be planned taking into account the physiology of the pest. In the case of ticks, at least 2 treatments should be done with an interval of 5-7 days, so that those individuals that were in an invulnerable phase fall under the action of the drugs. You also need to remember that biosecurity is, first of all, preventive measures.
You will not surprise anyone in the south in the greenhouses with tomato moth (tuta absoluta). The search for drugs begins. They ask: “Do you give a guarantee?” It is necessary to pour “chemistry” under the root. But the pest already has resistance to these drugs … And it is necessary this way: they saw damaged leaves, tear them off … You already have the pest, it already showed itself, but you didn’t even notice when. Therefore, remove the leaves with “mines”, this is not critical for tomatoes. And start regular treatment with Lepidocide M, because the next generation will damage not only the leaves, but also the fruits.
In terms of speed of action, we cannot compete with “chemistry”. But … Here, for example, we knew that a bug-harmful bug wintered near us, in planting, and at a temperature of 10 degrees it would start to feed on the field, and then it would begin to populate this field. If we do not know the biology of the pest, and begin to do something against the pest, when we see it, it is already too late. So again: prevention.
– Your funds are analogues of foreign ones?
– One could say this: many foreign drugs are analogues of ours. Here we have the drug Pentafag-S (based on five strains of bacterial viruses). A similar foreign drug contains only two. But those that are considered leaders in the production of biological plant protection products, they produce in dry form. Why? Is it more efficient? Not. So the shelf life is lengthened. The same Trichoderma in dry form, the right time to germinate, and here also the conditions must be favorable: temperature, humidity and the presence of oxygen. And our preparation contains a living form of the fungus. Accordingly, the time before the action of the fungus is reduced.
– Is there a difference in price? Are your cheaper?
– Yes, and not only in comparison with foreign ones. We analyze the products of competitors, and if they tell us: “Is it cheaper?”, We say: “Is it cheaper – go where it is cheaper. They will give you a 30% discount, but in the end it will be 20 percent more expensive than ours. ” There are those who sell three times as expensive, although the product is identical. It’s all about marketing moves. They say: “In the product of another company, the concentration is higher.” The question arises: do you need this? For example, as a manufacturer, I am interested not so much in this product, but how much it costs me to protect, or to process one hectare. Our drug, for example, Bitoxibacillin M, is recommended up to 5 liters per hectare (no longer makes sense), and a drug with silver ions from another company – from two to 12 liters. We recommend 1% Bitoxibacillin M, and potatoes need 2 liters per 200 liters of water. And another drug is needed for potatoes 2 liters. And what is 12 liters? This is a garden or a greenhouse. In the garden, the flow rate of the working solution is 800-1000l / ha, in the greenhouse – 1200-1500l / ha. So in our garden you need 5 liters of the drug, and there – 12, and multiply by the price.
You need to look at the product, how much you need to take on your culture and calculate the cost per hectare. You should look at the costs per hectare, not the price tag. And the second: if one gives a 10% discount on the drug, the second 20%, and the third 30%, the question arises: how much does it really cost.
– And how do your funds work, track?
– According to amaranths, I can say that last year the results were “deplorable”, this is so as not to offend anyone. “Not deplorable” result is 2 tons per hectare. In Ukraine, more than 4 tons are received, but this is still a few.
We track by those with whom we work. We have contracts and delivery schedules for the current year are formed on the first of March. In large farms, we are at least twice a year. After all, these or other climatic changes affect and need adjustments. The main problems are predictable. We are in constant contact with partners in order to make the necessary adjustments as quickly as possible.
– Can you compare the level of demand for your products in ordinary households and in those where organic products are grown?
– There are farms in which protection is more biological than organic. Because they came to this consciously. They changed technology … Organic farms often upset, so some people think that organic is like that, went to the forest and scored. That is, if it should grow, it will grow, but not grown, then it has not grown, well, it happened. If you approach the matter in such a way that the crop will be every 4 years, for example, because there have been adverse years, then everything is fine. But you need to know the mechanism of development of pathogenic organisms and pests.
What affects the plant at the start? Climatic conditions … Previously, the plant could start slowly, because the conditions were favorable for this. Now, as they say, there is no spring, there is no spring, and then summer immediately came. This year, in general, winter did not come, autumn goes into spring … Therefore, it is necessary to start quickly, including with treatments. Unfortunately, farmers who engage in organic farming do not always realize that if they want to get a good harvest, then certain measures must be taken.
– It is believed that amaranth is an unpretentious culture that does not need anything …
– It would be fair if we were engaged in the cultivation of amaranth on lands on which nothing was grown for 30-40 years. We are engaged in growing crops over a large area where pathogenic organisms have accumulated. And besides, amaranth is a plant of late sowing periods, therefore it falls into adverse conditions at the initial stage of development.
For processing amaranth. We can do this by technology, which is, in the early phase. The first – immediately after germination, after 2 weeks – the second treatment, after 2 – the third. Further, if there are no aircraft or drones that process the fields … At the beginning of the growing season, we do not think that there may be problems, and when problems appear, we cannot call in. Therefore, when growing amaranth, the main thing is to make preventive planned treatments in the initial phase of development. We also recommend that you do the treatment as soon as the shoots appear. And do preventative treatment against pests.