Agrochemical Update Brazil & Latin America - 11/01/2023

According to the minister of agriculture, Brazil needs to “expand trade in fertilizers with Arab countries”


Ministry of Agriculture approved 433 pesticides in 2023, as of October 28th. Of these, 171 are technical products, and 262 are formulated products. Biological products, including those approved for organic agriculture, reached 63 registrations (14.54% of the total). (MAPA)

Ouro Fino requests the voluntary withdrawal of toxicological evaluation of technical picoxystrobin. (Anvisa)

MAPA, Ibama, and the Agricultural Defense Agency of the State of Tocantins carried out Operation Ceres II, from October 23rd to 27th, focused on the inspection of illegal and unsuitable products for use in agriculture in the State. 13 inspections were carried out on farms and stores in the State, and 14 infraction notices were issued, which totaled US$ 200 million in fines. Cases of improper commercialization, presence of expired products, and trade and use of household products (prohibited for agriculture) on farms and agricultural stores were identified. According to Ibama’s head of Operation Ceres, Gilberto Milhomem, factories that produce household cleaning products are deviating from the purpose of the products registered with Anvisa, “selling it to the agricultural market, which is a violation of the environmental crime law”. (MAPA; Ibama; Adapec)

Ana Beatriz Bosquê is the new vice president of operations at ICL. (ICL Group)

Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Espírito Santo (FAES) released a statement defending aerial spraying with the use of drones in agriculture. “When we talk about aerial spraying, we also address the significant reduction in the amount of pesticides, in addition to the great savings in cost, production, and time, in addition to preserving the health of farmers and sustainability”, according to the president of FAES, Júlio Rocha. (FAES)

Plant health is an essential factor for the export of Brazilian corn and soybean. Weeds and pesticide residues can compromise the acceptance of grains in foreign markets, especially in China. According to Pedro Alberto de Matos, from the National Association of Cereal Exporters, China has a list of more than 400 quarantine pests, which can prevent grains from entering the country. Among them are insects and viruses that can be detected in ship cargo. “These problems can be avoided or minimized with appropriate management in the farms, such as adjusting agricultural machines, cleaning the grains, controlling pests and diseases, and harvesting at the ideal time, said José Quirino, president of the Brazilian Association of Grain Post-Harvest. (Anec; Abrapos)

Minister Cármen Lúcia, from the Supreme Court, requested a review and suspended the trial that would analyze tax exemption of pesticides in Brazil. The minister has 90 days to return the case for judgment. There are three votes to keep the current rules, and one to overturn it. The National Health Council approved, on October 26th, a recommendation for Supreme Court ministers to reject any proposal that allows tax reduction or exemptions for pesticides in Brazil. (STF; CNS)

According to the minister of agriculture, Carlos Fávaro, Brazil needs to “expand trade in fertilizers with Arab countries”. The minister stated that “some of these countries are important suppliers of fertilizers to Brazil. We need and want to expand our partnerships to guarantee the supply of this input, which is so relevant to our production”. (MAPA; Global Halal 2023)

Federal Road Police participated in a Workshop about illegal pesticides in Barreiras, State of Bahia, held in partnership with the Agricultural Defense Agency of Bahia. “The illegal trade in agricultural inputs is one of the biggest challenges faced by the agricultural industry in Brazil, reaching more than 20% of the trade in chemical pesticides and seeds in the country”, according to a note from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. (PRF; ADAB; MJSP)

Port of Paranaguá, one of the main entry ports of fertilizers in Brazil, has received a task force formed by federal agricultural inspectors from MAPA. It took place between October 16th and 20th, with the aim of monitoring the import of raw inputs, the storage and production of mineral fertilizers. The teams inspected 47 establishments and collected 32 samples, from 32 thousand tonnes of fertilizers, for analysis at the Federal Agricultural Defense Laboratories. Of the products inspected, 1,700 tonnes of fertilizers were seized as a precaution. In addition, five establishments were temporarily suspended for adjustments to be made. (MAPA)

Petrobras reported that there was no deal with Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), Bolivia’s state-owned company, to invest in a fertilizer factory in the country. Petrobras said that some professionals visited Bolivia and met with representatives from YPFB, where they only discussed opportunities. YPFB had announced on October 25th that a joint investment would be made with Petrobras, of US$ 2.5 billion, to build a factory with a production capacity of 4.2 thousand tonnes of fertilizers per year. (Petrobras; YPFB)

Eduardo Rocha, Civil House secretary of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, said that the State government has been discussing with the Federal Government the resumption of work on the Nitrogen Fertilizer Unit III, located in Três Lagoas, in Mato Grosso do Sul. The factory, which has 80% of its structure concluded, was designed to consume 2.3 million m3 of natural gas daily, for the production of 3,600 tonnes of granulated urea and 2,200 tonnes of ammonia per day, and to supply almost 30% of the Brazilian fertilizer market. (Government of Mato Grosso do Sul)

According to the Association of Soybean and Corn Farmers of the State of Mato Grosso (Aprosoja – MT), the ban on atrazine, requested by the Public Ministry of Labor, is a concern for farmers, and could cause financial and environmental problems. The herbicide, which is in 5% of agricultural pesticide products in Brazil, was banned in the European Union in 2003. According to the coordinator of Agricultural Defense at Aprosoja – MT, Fernando Ferri, atrazine is the main herbicide in corn. “If we remove atrazine, which is a very important farming tool today, we will see an increase in the use of other products. It is a tool that is still very effective on various weeds, with a pre-emergence effect. So, this will not only impact farmers financially, but environmentally as well, because it will increase the number of other applications”. (Aprosoja – MT)

Patrícia Monqueiro, from the Federal University of São Carlos, was the first researcher to win the Women of Agriculture Award, an initiative from Bayer, in partnership with the Brazilian Agribusiness Association. Monqueiro studies alternative methods to control weeds, seeking to avoid damages to the environment. “Within agricultural science centers, we are focusing mainly on weeds that have resistant biotypes. Today, in Brazil, there are 54 resistant biotypes, often resistant to three or more herbicides”, according to Monqueiro. (Ufscar; Bayer; ABAG)

According to Fabio Torres, business manager at Jacto Next, Jacto’s digital services segment, the correction of GPS signals can bring an accuracy of 2.5 cm in agricultural machinery operations. These signals, also known as “paid signals”, are provided by geostationary satellites, which correct errors in real time, providing accuracies of 2.5 to 3 cm, which is essential to avoid overlaps and failures in agricultural operations, such as during the application of limestone, pesticides and fertilizers. Correcting GPS signals prevents trampling of rows, improves planting accuracy and adjusts the need and effectiveness of agricultural applications. (Jacto Next)

In the last three years, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Vigifronteira program, focused on border surveillance, seized 423 tonnes of pesticides, 214 tonnes of fertilizers, 574 tonnes of seeds, 60,000 veterinary products, 313 tonnes of animal feed products, 142 tonnes of animal products and 663 tonnes of plant products of dangerous origin, in addition to 457 thousand L of beverages and 4,911 animals, introduced or produced in Brazil illegally. (MAPA)

According to Natasha Esteves, a researcher at the Federal University of Ceará, green hydrogen is a versatile product, with many possibilities for its use. In the fertilizer industry, it can be used to produce ammonia, the basis for nitrogen fertilizers. “We already use hydrogen in the fertilizer industry. But it is a hydrogen of fossil origin… When hydrogen is produced from natural gas, for each tonne it emits almost twice as much carbon dioxide“, said Natasha Esteves. (UFC)

Agricultural Committee of the Chamber of Deputies (Brazilian Lower House of Congress) approved Bill No. 4356/21, which exempts low toxicity pesticides from the Tax on Industrialized Products (IPI). According to the text, equipment, machines and other products, including related parts, tools and accessories, intended for research, experimentation and development of these pesticides should also be exempt from the tax. “The proposal meets the needs of sustainability, economic viability and public interest,” said the rapporteur, congressman Márcio Honaiser. The project is being reviewed and will still be analyzed by the Finance and Taxation committees; as well as the committees of Constitution and Justice and Citizenship. (Câmara dos Deputados)

Fertilizer market is “at a standstill”, with farmers not motivated to purchase fertilizers for the off-season corn, according to StoneX Consultoria. The current period would normally be one of increased urea purchases to prepare for the beginning of corn planting. Heavy rains in the South have disrupted farmers’ planning. In the Midwest, the drought delays soybean planting and the opportunity to purchase fertilizer for summer corn. “This ends up impacting decision-making for the off-season. The later the farmer plants soybean, the later they will plant corn. The risks increase and business drags on”, said the StoneX fertilizer analyst, Rafael Yamamoto. (StoneX Consultoria)

There is no trivialization of the use of pesticides, because they even increase production costs”, said the minister of agriculture, Carlos Fávaro. According to the minister, the use of new molecules guarantees the competitiveness of the sector. “It lowers the costs, but always with respect to food safety” said Fávaro. (MAPA)

Carolina Gil is the new director of human resources and IT at Ubyfol. Cassiana Machado is the company’s new director of innovation. (Ubyfol – Uby Agroquímica)

Anvisa published four guidelines for pesticide toxicological evaluation, which are already in force. The texts remain under public consultation for improvement until 04/15/2024. The new guidelines refer to: mutagenic potential, reproductive toxicity, carcinogenic potential and neurotoxicity. According to Anvisa, the publication of these documents aims to make the toxicological evaluation criteria even more transparent, especially during the reevaluation process. (Anvisa)

Simbiose, a pesticide and microbiological input manufacturer, started selling a developed product in partnership with the State University of Londrina, based on Bacillus velezensis. The product is used to control diseases that affect soybeans and corn, such as corn white spot and brown spot. (Simbiose; UEL)

Latin America

There is a lack of diesel and inputs needed for agriculture in Argentina. The Confederation of Rural Associations of Buenos Aires and La Pampa (Carbap) released a note saying that “only a government that does not govern can look the other way when warned of the problems that are to come. The consequence of this is the lack of medical material, the lack of fertilizers, of agricultural inputs and even the difficulty of providing food for animals”. Horacio Salaverri, president of Carbap, said that the fuel shortage worsens the already complicated situation that farmers are in with regards to the supply of inputs. (Carbap)

Armando Allingui, executive director of the Chamber of the Fertilizers and Pesticides Industry of Argentina, said that there is a 20% delay on the number of fertilizers imported into the country. To date, 1.9 million tonnes have been imported, compared to 2.4 million during the same period in 2022. In the case of pesticides, 140 thousand tonnes have been imported, down from 160 thousand tonnes in the same period in 2022. (Ciafa)

Colombia depends 100% on urea imports, despite the country being a producer of gas and coal”, according to Cesar Palacio, general manager of Fertilizantes PazdelRío. “There is the possibility of producing urea in Colombia. Production existed in the past, and there are plans and researches on this”, said Palacio. According to researcher Manuel Iván Gómez, from the National University of Colombia, although any country in the world is capable of producing urea, as its source is the atmosphere, in Colombia this is not done due to energy issues and a lack of technology in the industrialization process. (Fertilizantes PazdelRío; UNAL)

Research developed by the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (Concytec) of Peru, proposes the use of artificial intelligence to detect, in a few minutes, the presence of pesticide residues above permitted limits in crops, and the presence of active ingredients of pesticides banned in the country. “These sensors can measure and transmit data relating to the presence of residues, which would be processed by artificial intelligence systems to quickly determine whether or not crops comply with permitted limits”, said Alberto Maurer, coordinator of the technical team at Concytec. In 2022, 16% of samples evaluated did not comply with the pesticide limits allowed by the country. (Concytec)


Conservation and Quality of Soils in Brazil