Formulation Solutions for Biopesticides

Through the use of living microorganisms, natural substances, or semiochemicals, biopesticides prevent or reduce damage from pests, weeds, and pathogens, emerging as one of the most promising tools to empower a sustainable future of agriculture. 

The biopesticides market continues to grow, finding its way into integrated pest management (IPM) practices, as it helps reduce the risk of resistance to synthetic agrochemical actives. Increased adoption of biopesticides is also a way for the agricultural market to respond to looming consumer demands on organic and residue-free food. This rise in environmentally aware consumers and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements continue to drive the agriculture market shift from synthetic conventional pesticides to biological pest control

European Union’s Farm to Fork strategy and the Brazil National Bio-Input Program clearly set targets to favor this transition towards mitigation of conventional agrochemicals usage.

However, the global rate of adoption of Biocontrol-based solutions remains low in comparison with conventional pesticides, with less consistent biological efficacy observed in the field, in adverse conditions. Classical root causes analysis include lack of stability of the product during storage, less active material reaching the target and rapid degradation of the biopesticide once applied related to environmental factors. Optimized formulation strategies are a key lever to enhance global bioefficacy of such biopesticides.

 

Solvay’s Transition to Biopesticide Formulation Ingredients

As the industry leader in the development of agrochemicals for pesticide formulation for over 40 years, Solvay aims to reapply our expertise toward designing innovative ingredients and formulation solutions for biopesticides, with the aim to address each specific application challenge of these biopesticide formulations. 

Specifically, Solvay offers AgRHEA™ OD-EASY for oil dispersion of biopesticides, AgRHEA™ SticGuard for retention & rain fastness benefits, and a broad range of inerts wetting, emulsifying, dispersing agents and adjuvants for various formulations and applications. Our specialty portfolio of formulation inerts provides formulators with a diverse product portfolio and a breadth of innovative biocontrol solutions.

Challenges of Microbial Biopesticides in Agriculture

Each beneficial microorganism species has different sensitivities to chemicals, temperature, environmental factors such as UV, drought, and humidity. Additionally, even through a similar microorganism category, the strains and fermentation processes have a substantial impact on final broth composition, impacting formulation methodology and biological performance. 

Microbial Biocontrol Key Challenges

  • Shelf Life and Storage
  • Application Handling and Delivery
  • On-target Viability and Bioefficacy

 

The Role of Formulation in Microbial Biopesticide Efficacy 

Formulation plays a key role in overcoming the challenges facing the agricultural market as it transitions towards producing microbial biocontrols with enhanced efficacy. Adequate co-formulant selection is vital to the outcome as it can lead to: 

  • Optimal shelf life, with enhanced microorganisms viability
  • Satisfactory wetting & homogeneous dispersion upon formulation dilution for enhanced on-target application of the microorganisms
  • Spray droplet size control for optimal coverage (foliar & soil)
  • Improved wetting, adhesion, humectancy, and rainfastness on target
  • Improved viability of microorganism on target (seed)
  • Increased microbial activity against targeted pests and pathogens 

Thanks to our extensive experience in agrochemical formulation, microbiology, and phys-chem, Solvay is able to offer a unique culmination of resources, facilities, and expertise to deliver unrivaled agrochemical and biopesticide formulation solutions. We offer a range of ingredients for microbial biopesticide solutions for foliar, soil, and seed applications.