Industry sees fast growth in biological control

The biological controls industry is undergoing rapid growth and will account for a third of Europe's crop-protection market by 2020, according to Rationale Biopesticide Strategists director Dr Roma Gwynn.

Speaking at the Brassica Growers Association conference, she said: "A new regulatory system in Europe means that we will see many more substances coming through. The Sustainable Use Directive encourages non-chemical methods of pest control."

The industry is moving very fast in response, she added. "It has gone hi-tech, with large-scale, very clean production."

But she cautioned: "We need to get more knowledgeable about their use. What is the interaction with conventional chemicals - alternate, synergy or antagonism?"

Even biological agents not classed as "controls" - causing more than 80 per cent control of a given pest - may still have a role in a mixed programme of control, added Gwynn.

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