Bioprotection: an innovative turn in seeds treatment with a growing market perspective

Biological control is used to reduce the incidence of pests and diseases, by using natural enemies. Due to their different modes of action, bioprotectors ensure protection efficiency and minimize disease tolerance. They can be used alternatively or complementarily with main chemically synthesized seed treatments.


Bioprotectors promote productive advantages that -together with increasing regulatory pressure in many countries and growing social demand for agriculture with less environmental impact- are leading input companies to invest more resources in research and development of biological technologies. The bioprotectors market is currently worth 3.88-billion dollars, and its expansion is greater than that of chemical synthesis products, with an annual growth rate of over 17%.

Much progress has been made in bioprotection focused on professional seed treatment, one of the fundamental pillars of plant protection, because it provides benefits to performance and care for the environment. In Argentina, Rizobacter leads the inclusion of bio-based therapies; due to an exclusive high-quality liquid fermentation process, these bio-based therapies can be applied more than 90 days in advance, and guarantee survival in the container for more than 18 months after production.

Such is the case of Rizoderma, developed in partnership with the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA). This seed care treatment, based on the Trichoderma Harzianum fungus, has proven effective in controlling multiple seed and soil diseases, such as Fusarium, Drechslera, Bipolaris, Tilletia, Ustilago, Cercospora and Phomopsis, which affect germination and initial development in wheat, soybean, and rice crops. Its 100% liquid formulation accelerates the treatment; in addition, it makes the fungal cells more stable and with greater fungicidal power, which means greater potential in the field.

Because it is a biological fungicide, this treatment combines multiple mechanisms of action that naturally prevent and inhibit the development of pathogens. Bioprotectors grow, invade, and activate the plant physiological and biochemical defense mechanisms; this way, they provide longer protection time during all the growth stages.

In practice, its level of acceptance by growers is remarkably high. In Argentina alone, this technology has had an adoption rate greater than 120% year after year, and it has covered over one million hectares of wheat in the last three years. Likewise, it is projected to expand to other crops - in Argentina, it will soon be registered for barley and winter legumes, such as peas and chickpeas, with even higher growth expectations. Rizoderma is also registered in Uruguay, Paraguay, and Ukraine, and it is awaiting approval in Europe, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, South Africa, the US and Canada. In these markets, testing trials have already been conducted for more than two years, with very favorable results, especially when compared with traditional chemically synthesized fungicides.