The topic of agricultural biologization has become one of the most urgent in recent years. We talked with Svetlana Nekoval, head of the laboratory of tomato genetic collection at the All-Russian Research Institute for Biological Plant Protection (FGBNU VNIIBZR), about how Russian scientists assess the prospects for the introduction of biological methods and the use of biological products in domestic agricultural farms.
- The world market of biological products, by according to expert estimates, it grows by 8% annually. Can we say that this trend applies to Russia as well?
Of course, the popularity of biological products in our country is increasing every year. The main reasons for the growth in demand are irreplaceable soil depletion due to prolonged use of chemical fertilizers and plant protection products; the negative impact of chemicals on human health, both as a result of direct action and as a result of the accumulation of residual amounts of pesticides in agricultural products and drinking water; decrease in biodiversity of insects (in particular, pollinating insects). The annual increase in the cost of chemical pesticides also contributes to the strengthening of the trend.
This year, farmers' interest in biological products was also spurred by the entry into force of the law "On organic products and on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation", according to which only biological plant protection products can be used to obtain environmentally friendly products and feed.
- Who can be called in Russia the main consumers of biological products (in crop production)?
According to Sergei Korshunov, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Organic Agriculture, there are practically no farms in Central Russia that do not use biological methods in any form (application of organic fertilizers to the soil, use of microbiological preparations, introduction of leguminous green manures or cover crops into crop rotation). I agree with him.
Small and medium-sized farms and large agricultural holdings are trying to move from the production of products using only chemical methods of combating harmful objects towards integrated plant protection (combining "chemistry" with "biology"), and some of them - to organic agriculture.
Many large farms set aside pilot fields for bio-farming with an eye on the production of completely organic products.
The main difficulty in biology lies precisely in its scaling. A biological method without individual calculations for each field and for each crop does not work. It is necessary to constantly monitor the condition of the soil and monitor the development of plants. Most farmers are not ready to conduct accurate observations of the phytosanitary state of plants or cannot imagine it.
allow, therefore, they work blindly with biologization, often obtaining unsatisfactory results. And at the same time, many agricultural enterprises have been using the bio-method in integrated schemes for cultivating agricultural crops for more than 10 years, having successfully mastered these biotechnologies.
- Some agricultural producers say that processing with biological products is more expensive than using CCPP; moreover, they require more effort and knowledge, and the result is often worse. It is a myth? Or does it all depend on what problem the farm is trying to solve?
If all the conditions and rules for the use of biological products are met, then the biological effectiveness corresponds to the level of effectiveness of chemical products, and the costs are much lower. Although, of course, a lot depends on what kind of problem the economy is trying to solve. Applying biological methods of plant protection, it should be borne in mind that the greatest efficiency is achieved when carrying out preventive measures. If biological products are used for medicinal purposes, then in each individual case it is necessary to select certain (in accordance with the degree of spread of harmful objects) dosages of drugs.
A vivid example of the fact that it is possible to achieve high results and reduce the cost of using protective equipment is the research of our laboratory, carried out jointly with the Biotechagro company, to study the biological protection system of strawberries from harmful objects, including nematodes, as well as to study the effectiveness protection of open ground potatoes with microbiological preparations produced by Biotehagro LLC.
With the help of biological products based on useful natural microorganisms, we managed to reduce the development and spread of harmful organisms within the EPV, to increase (restore) the varietal yield of strawberries and potatoes, to significantly reduce the cost of carrying out protective measures; reduce pesticide load on plants and soil, improve the quality of the crop.
For example, potato yield increased with biosecurity
by 15%, and the cost of biological products compared to chemical agents decreased 6 times, and at the same time, the starch and vitamin C content in the tubers increased and the amount of nitrate nitrogen decreased.
- Is it necessary to train agricultural producers to work with biological products?
- Training is necessary. An experienced and skillful agronomist should work with "biology", here the clarity and timeliness of all processes is important. It is necessary to strictly follow the manufacturer's recommendations and interact only with reliable suppliers.
If the farm is dissatisfied with the results of the use of biological products, manufacturers or sellers are most often blamed for the failure. Sometimes the frustration of one drug is transferred to the whole biological defense as a whole. At the same time, without experience in working with biological products, agronomists often neglect the recommendations of specialists.
The most common mistakes when working with biologics:
• Failure to comply with storage conditions.
For preparations containing live microorganisms, strict adherence to storage conditions is necessary. There are microorganisms that tolerate temperature increases up to + 30 ° C, especially short-term ones. For others, it is disastrous. In addition, in some preparations, microorganisms can be in the form of living cells and more responsive to temperature changes, in others they live in a spore form.
• Use of drugs with an expired date.
Biological products, like other plant protection products, fertilizers and growth stimulants, have their own shelf life. It depends on the specific composition of the biological product. Preparations containing some bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas or Rhizobium (the latter are part of the bioinoculants used to treat legume seeds
plants to stimulate the process of fixing atmospheric nitrogen), as a rule, have short shelf life - from one month to six months, especially when it comes to liquid form.
If these preparations are released in dry form or special substances - protectors - are added to the culture liquid, then they are stored for a little longer. Products containing fungi of the genus Trichoderma or bacteria of the genera Bacillus, Azotobacter and some others are stored longer.
It should be noted that on the label the manufacturer indicates the shelf life in unopened original packaging. Many people overlook this "insignificant" detail, believing that an open package will stand for a year without losing quality.
• Treatment with biological products immediately after antibacterial agents or together with them.
Microbiological products can be used simultaneously with other biological products, but not all and not all. There are a number of agents of biological origin (derivatives of streptomycetes) that are used in plant growing as antibiotic substances. Three such drugs are registered in our country: "Kasugamycin", "Fitolavin" and "Fitoplasmin". These funds are successfully used against diseases, you
called harmful bacteria. To consolidate the success, it would be logical to treat the plants after disinfection with such antibiotics and introduce beneficial microflora into the soil. However, it is impossible to add microbiological agents in one container to the antibiotic and to do with one joint treatment. First, you need to treat it with an antibiotic substance, and after 7-10 days, spray the plants or water the soil with a biological product with live bacteria. Also, it is impossible to treat with microbiological preparations simultaneously or immediately after spraying the plants with copper-containing preparations.
• Treatments in hot sunny weather in the middle of the day.
Many bacteria that make up biological products, under the influence of direct sunlight, die or reduce the intensity of life processes, in particular the production of biologically active substances - hormones, enzymes, etc., which give the drugs useful properties. Almost all manufacturers recommend preparing a working solution and carrying out processing in the evening. If the drug is introduced into the soil, then it is recommended to level the topsoil with a rake or cover it with mulch.
• Use of stale working solution.
Any working solution of plant protection products or fertilizers should not be stored for more than a day. When it comes to biological products, the time interval is further reduced. It is better to act like this: prepared the required amount of working solution - treated the culture or soil.
• Many liquid forms of preparations must be mixed before being poured from the original packaging into the solution preparation container.
This is indicated on all packaging labels. If you don't mix it, you simply won't get the expected effect from the treatment.
• Preparation of a solution in ice water.
Often, drugs are diluted in very cold water (for example, from a well or well). This makes the solution less effective. It is best to prepare the working solution in warm (or room temperature) water.
• Non-observance of consumption rates, frequency rate and methods of application.
Drugs are not always used clearly for their intended purpose. Some agricultural producers, even observing the correct dosage, ignore the instructions, which prescribe the method of application and consumption rates. By the way, if an instruction is not attached to the drug (it must be mandatory on the packaging label, possibly additionally on a separate sheet, with a larger font), you cannot buy such a product. If its components are manufactured in violation (instructions with consumption rates are a prerequisite for the sale of registered plant protection products and fertilizers), then no one can vouch for the composition of the drug itself.
• Untimely treatments or insufficient number of treatments.
Not all plant protection products are used preventively, often they can only be effective when a problem occurs. But when using most biological products (with the exception of contact - against insects), the basis of tactics is systemic prevention.
- Who develops biological products in Russia, how long has this work been carried out? Who tests their effectiveness? Are these drugs competitive in the global market?
Russia is the world leader in the development of biological plant protection products, and leading positions in this direction have been won by domestic science thanks to the developments of our scientists. The well-known Russian scientist Ilya Mechnikov is considered the founder of the bio-direction in agriculture, who in the 1940th century created the world's first biological preparation based on an entomopathogenic fungus (inhibits harmful insects). Due to an underestimation of the method, the production and use of this drug was discontinued at the beginning of the 1960th century, and research in the field of biological products was resumed only in the 60s. Already by the 300s, several domestic drugs based on bacteria were developed at once (their copyright holder is now the software "Sibbiopharm"). Later, breakthrough at that time drugs for plant diseases were created on the basis of natural strains of bacteria and fungi antagonists of phytopathogens. The first commercial drug based on fungi (developed by the All-Russian Research Institute of Plant Protection (VIZR)) was trichodermin, and the bacterial one was planriz. Leading Soviet and then Russian scientific institutes in the field of agriculture, microbiology and virology have developed almost the entire known line of biological products that replace chemical analogues. Today, thanks to the symbiosis of science, business and, in part, the state, more than XNUMX biological products are registered in Russia, while there are only XNUMX of them in the world.
The main manufacturers of biological products in Russia at the moment are research and production companies - including NVP "Bashinkom", branches of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Rosselkhoztsentr", PO "Sibbiopharm", LLC "Biotechagro", SCHP "Niva" and GK "Agrobiotechnology".
In the Krasnodar Territory, the only registered manufacturer of biological products for plant protection is LLC Biotehagro.
- How do you assess the state and prospects of the industry for the production of biological products in our country?
On the whole, of course, the industry has many problems: rules have not been created and criteria that determine the quality of drugs have not been formalized; there are no regional laboratories that check bacterial preparations for quality and titer; the legal responsibility of manufacturers for the quality of drugs is not defined; there is no state control over their use.
Registration of biological products in Russia remains a complex and costly undertaking, which greatly impedes the development of the sector. As a result, the volume of Russian production and the scale of the use of biopesticides and biological products are significantly lower than the European and American levels.
Much remains to be done in terms of scientific discoveries: it is necessary, in particular, to solve the problems with the short shelf life of biological products and their weak resistance to precipitation.
Nevertheless, I am confident that the difficulties will be overcome and the goals set will be achieved. The introduction of biologization methods is not a fashion, but a requirement of the time, and in the coming years this direction will actively develop.