Fungicide use drops by 12.3% in Brazil
There was a 12.3% drop in the use of fungicides in Brazilian crops, whose treated area fell from 145.325 million hectares to 127.440 million hectares in the first half of 2022, the National Union of Plant Defense Products Industry (Sindiveg) informed.
″This was mainly due to the anticipation of soybean planting in the last quarter of 2021 and the harsh drought that hit the Southern region and part of the Midwest of Brazil earlier this year, which resulted in reduced productivity in these regions,″ President of Sindiveg, Júlio Borges Garcia, explained.
According to him, fungi depend on humid weather to develop, which reduces the need to apply fungicides, ″due to the unfavorable conditions of the crop and the lower incidence of diseases.″
On the other hand, the total area treated with all categories of agrochemicals grew 0.2% in the first six months of the year, reaching 741.278 million hectares - compared to 739.615 million hectares between January and June of last year (1.663 million hectares more).
″The statistics for the first half of the year point to an increase in herbicides and insecticides. Sucking insects on soybeans, corn, and sugarcane – such as whiteflies, leafhoppers, and bed bugs – and the cotton boll weevil increasingly stand out as the main enemies of farmer productivity,″ Garcia commented.
The applied area of insecticides increased by 1%, reaching 241.778 million hectares, and the application of herbicides against weeds increased by 3%, reaching 124.914 million hectares.
Due to climatic adversities faced by soybeans, the treated area of this important crop fell by 23% in the semester (reaching 196,233,286 hectares).
In turn, cotton increased by 24% (134,957,957 ha), corn increased by 15% (284,457,506 ha) and sugarcane increased by 6% (34,424,528 ha).
Coffee also reduced (-10%), with 10,182,785 hectares treated between January and June 2022.
The concept of the treated area, used by the entity, is the result of multiplying the cultivated area in hectares by the number of pesticide applications and the number of products formulated in each application.
Sindiveg, with the support of 26 member companies, has been applying this concept since 2020, using research commissioned from Spark Smarter Decisions, which exclusively collects market data based on interviews with more than 18,000 farmers across the country.
″The concept of the treated area is an important indicator to measure the contribution of the plant defense industry to crop protection. In addition, it is important to highlight that farmers are increasingly aware of the phytosanitary challenges, which are recurring and growing, but also of opportunities, investing more and more in technology and prevention against pests, diseases and weeds,″ stressed the Sindiveg president.
The value of the applied pesticides market grew 20% in the first half, jumping from US$5.468 billion to $6.560 billion.
This growth is mainly from the impact of the exchange rate and the global economic scenario, such as the Russia-Ukraine war and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a major impact on logistics and material costs. The applied pesticide market grew 17.6% in national currency, reaching BRL34.264 billion ($6.66 billion).
Considering the product segments, insecticides represented 37% of the value of products applied in the first half of the year.
Herbicides participated with 26%, fungicides with 25%, and seed treatment with 6%. (US$1 = BRL5.15)