New biopesticide uses two bacterial strains to control caterpillars


A pesticide composed by an unprecedented mix of two isolates of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria is the newest bioproduct to control fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and soybean looper (Chrysodeixis includens).

Acera – the trade name for the product – was developed with Embrapa technology and conceived in partnership with Ballagro Agro Technology, the company that will commercialize it.
“The greatest advantage of this Bt-based biological product is that it does not affect the environment, it does not intoxicate those who apply it, it does not kill the natural enemies of the pests or pollute rivers and springs, hence contributing to sustainability,” says Embrapa researcher Fernando Hercos Valicente, technology developer. “Acera was registered to control those two species of caterpillars and could be used in crops like soybeans, corn, cotton and many others.”
Ballagro is a Brazilian company that has developed biological control technologies for use in agriculture since 2004. “With a focus on innovation and technical work, we have developed technologies for the growth of biological control in the management of pests and diseases,” says Lecio Kaneko, manager of products and market for Ballagro. He adds the partnership with Embrapa started in 2014, with the purpose of developing a bioinsecticide to control pests like the Spodoptera frugiperda and Helicoverpa armigera caterpillars. He anticipates the product label may include other pests in the future.
The researchers are now studying the viability of Acera being applied through drones.


New AG International November/December 2020


Check out our new digital publication in Spanish HERE!

cover 199x282