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Why use bioprotection in regenerative agriculture?

Theme: Basics of biocontrol


The principles of regenerative agriculture
Bioprotection products promoting soil health
Boosting biodiversity with biocontrol and bioprotection products
Reducing chemical pesticide use with bioprotection
Using bioprotection in regenerative agriculture

Bioprotection, as a sustainable and environmentally friendly form of pest management, plays a vital role in regenerative agriculture.

Regenerative agriculture is an innovative and holistic approach to producing food more sustainably. It can help to tackle many critical environmental issues, such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity or the reliance on agrochemicals like chemical pesticides.

The principles of regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture relies on various agricultural and ecological practices that prioritize the healthy functioning of ecosystems. It aims to:

  • restore and enhance the health of soils and ecosystems
  • protect the environment
  • increase resilience to climate change

These can be achieved by:

  • minimizing soil disturbance and the input of chemicals
  • maximizing biodiversity
  • adapting to the environment

A variety of practices follow these guiding principles, including the use of natural substances like biocontrol and biopesticide products for pest management. Using bioprotection provides many benefits that align with the goals of regenerative agriculture.

Bioprotection products promoting soil health

Close-up of sprouts coming out of a freshly ploughed field
Sprouts coming out of a ploughed field. Credit: Carl Tronders via Unsplash

Minimizing soil disturbance is critical as soils are the foundation of agriculture. Healthy soils create healthy crops and are more productive and profitable for farmers. Yet, in conventional agriculture, soils are often degraded and polluted. One of the reasons is the prolonged use of chemical pesticides. Once in the soil, they can persist for years or decades.

Bioprotection products are an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. They are usually specific to a small number of pests, making them safer for beneficial organisms, including those that have a major role in the health of soils. Biocontrol and bioprotection products are also naturally occurring substances that degrade quickly. They leave little to no toxic residues in the soil, which prevents soil pollution. This ultimately protects soil organisms and improves soil health.

In contrast, chemical pesticides can harm these soil organisms. This impacts soil health and its ability to perform basic functions, such as nutrient cycling and fighting off pests and diseases. It can also cause crops to grow less and be more sensitive to external stresses such as the weather.

Boosting biodiversity with biocontrol and bioprotection products

An pollinator on yellow flowers of Brassica plants
An insect pollinating flowers of Brassica plants. Credit: Joseph Northcutt via Unsplash

Biodiversity is essential for the functioning of ecosystems that provide humans with many benefits like clean water and clean air. One of the core principles of regenerative agriculture is to enhance and protect biodiversity in farming systems, above and below the ground.

Bioprotection products cause less harm to non-target organisms, such as pollinators and natural enemies that prey on pests. Protecting pollinators from harmful chemicals is crucial for biodiversity as pollination is one of the most important mechanisms in maintaining and promoting biodiversity. By making the switch from chemical control to bioprotection, we can improve biodiversity.

Soil also hosts many animals, such as beetles, earthworms, and even nesting bees. Biocontrol and biopesticides that might infiltrate the soil degrade quickly and are safer for resident organisms, protecting soil biodiversity as well.  

Reducing chemical pesticide use with bioprotection

Chemicals used in agriculture can refer to chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or growth agents. These have been overused in the last decades and can cause negative impacts on the environment.

Opting for biocontrol and biopesticide products is a good starting point for reducing reliance on chemicals. As bioprotection products are safer for soil organisms and natural enemies, they help maintain their populations. In turn, natural enemies help control pests, reducing the need for plant protection products. Soil organisms help with nutrient availability in the soil, which is important for plant growth. 

A ladybird on a wheat field
A ladybird, a natural enemy, on a wheat field. Credit: Zura Narimanishvili via Unsplash

Conversely, chemical control can harm soil organisms, which in turn decreases nutrient availability and reduces plant growth. Farmers may increase the use of chemical fertilizers to counteract this issue, but this cannot work in the long term. The excessive use of fertilizers only brings more issues such as soil acidification and water pollution.

Eventually, bioprotection products can help to reduce the need and use of chemical fertilizers.

Using bioprotection in regenerative agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is a promising solution for better farming practices and incorporating the use of bioprotection products within this approach is a vital step. Using biocontrol and biopesticide products can provide many benefits that align with the principles of regenerative agriculture, such as:

  • protecting non-target insects
  • safeguarding biodiversity and environmental health
  • improving soil and plant health
  • avoiding soil degradation and pollution
  • participating in a more resilient food production system
  • reducing reliance on harmful chemicals

In this way, farmers can work in harmony with nature which ensures a better future for both themselves and consumers.

Want to move towards regenerative agriculture? Start by searching for biocontrol and biopesticide products in your country

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