The Brazilian agricultural sector was negatively affected in 2018 by the institutional environment, due to the truck drivers’ strike and the freight tariff, which led to a rise in food and pesticides prices.
- Illegal products continue to be a big issue, and the pesticides black market is estimated to account for at least 35% of revenue.
- The use of natural pesticides is growing in Brazil, and biological products are expected to register a 20% growth in sales during the upcoming years. Increasing demand for better crop protection as well as initiatives from the government to promote the use of bio-nematicides is increasing demand in the overall nematicide market.
- After October 2017, all uses of carbofuran were immediately banned except for a few crops such as banana, coffee and sugarcane, which had a discontinuation period of six months and were still used during the first semester of 2018.
- A new nematicidal molecule, fluensulfone, with indication for use especially in sugarcane and coffee crops, among others, and for biological targets of the genus Meloidogyne, of the species Pratylenchus zeae, among others, was registered in 2018 for application in planting groove. It is expected to help in the substitution of carbofuran.
Nematodes have always been present in the Brazilian soil, especially in soils with low fertility levels like in the Brazilian Cerrado and the Brazilian Savanna, where the presence is estimated between 75% and 100%. In recent years, the strong expansion of cultivated areas in the country, especially with inadequate or nonexistent practices of crop rotation, has provided an increase in the incidence of nematodes. These pests are considered hidden enemies of producers because it is not always possible to visualize or identify them in the field. Most of the time, the symptoms in the aerial part of the plants are easily confused with other causes, such as nutrient deficiency, pest and disease attacks, drought, and soil compaction. Worldwide, more than 15,000 species of nematodes are identified, of which the ones that cause the most problems for Brazilian agribusiness are those of the species Meloidogyne, Pratylenchus, and Heterodera.
The agribusiness industry has the challenge of addressing and resolving the nematological problems that have been worsening and expanding in Brazil. As agriculture is expanding and the industry is modernizing, new problems have arisen with phytoparasite nematodes.