Crop Protection and Nutrition - Weekly Update Brazil & Latin America (02/01/24 - 02/07/24)

Brazil and Bolivia signed an agreement for fertilizer production


In compliance with a court decision, Anvisa approves five toxicological evaluations: glufosinate – ammonium salt (Syncrom); etiprole 200 g/L SL (Rainbow); glufosinate – ammonium salt (Proregistros); amicarbazone 700 g/kg WG (Rainbow); and cyproconazole 100 g/L SL (Cropchem). (Anvisa)

Ministry of Agriculture approved 8 equivalent technical product pesticide registrations. (MAPA)

Petrobras and the Ministry of Mines and Energy have five days to provide information about irregularities highlighted in a contract signed with Unigel for the supply of fertilizers. Deadline was given by Minister Benjamin Zymler, of the Federal Court of Auditors. According to the TCU, there are signs of flaws in the agreement between the companies, which could mean losses of up to US$ 97.90 million. “There are several problems encountered in qualifying risks and quantifying the expected economic value of the alternatives that were evaluated”. (TCU)

Renato Mendes is the new vice president of strategic accounts at Verde Agritech. Mendes will lead a team focused on 431 clients, who together cultivate more than nine million hectares. (Green Agritech)

According to Jeferson Souza, market analyst at Agrinvest Commodities, fertilizer purchases for 2024/25 are “moving more slowly” in 2024, when compared to the same period of last year (for the 2023/24 season). “However, over the last 15 days, the number of conversations I’ve been having with farmers about KCl [potassium chloride] has increased. Many want more information about potassium trends. And, most importantly: are we in a good time for purchasing?” said Souza. “CFR [Cost and Freight] price of KCl has fallen by more than 43% in the last 12 months. We are back to what we had in February of 2021. However, the farmers’ biggest complaint at the moment is not even the price of fertilizers, but the price of soybeans. This has been an obstacle to negotiations”. (Agrinvest Commodities)

Deliveries of fertilizer in Brazil increased by 11.9% from January to November of 2023, reaching 42.21 million tonnes. Mato Grosso do Sul was the State that had the biggest volume in the period (22.2%), reaching 9.38 million tonnes, followed by Rio Grande do Sul (4.87 million), Paraná (4.56 million), Goiás (4.52 million), Minas Gerais ( 4.15 million) and São Paulo (4.07 million). (National Association for Fertilizer Diffusion)

Tarcísio Mozini is the new commercial director at Ourofino Agrociência. (Ourofino Agrociência)

“Brazil is at the forefront in the adoption of bioinputs. It is the country that has been leading the introduction of the use of bioinputs in farming, especially in large-scale agriculture. We have approximately 10% of the Brazilian area using bioinputs for pest control. This would be around 10 million hectares. Regarding fertilizers, we have almost 40 million hectares being treated with inoculants”, said the executive director of the Brazilian Bioinputs Association, Reginaldo Minaré. (CB.Agro; ABBINS)

According to a survey performed by FAO, Brazil uses more pesticides than China and the USA combined. In 2021, 719.5 thousand tonnes of pesticides were applied in Brazil, compared to 244 thousand tonnes in China and 457 thousand tonnes in the USA. (FAO)

National Congress should analyze President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s vetoes to the law that modifies the rules for registration and sales of pesticides (Law  No. 14785/2023), approved in November/2023 and sanctioned on December 28th of 2023. Five of the vetoes refer to the determination that only the Ministry of Agriculture would be responsible for analyzing the risks of already approved pesticides and changes in production processes, excluding Ibama and Anvisa from the analysis. (Rádio Senado)

Drop in soybean prices reduced farmers’ fertilizer purchasing power. In the spot market, the parity is above the historical average for Monoammonium Phosphate (MAP). Exchange rate of soybeans for potassium chloride (KCl) has also worsened, but is still below the average of recent years. (Itaú BBA)

Annual research performed by LinkedIn concluded that drone pilot is “one of the professions that will be in high demand in 2024”. To work with pesticide spraying, the pilot must undergo a Remote Aeroagricultural Application Course. According to LinkedIn, the average salary for an agricultural drone pilot ranges from US$ 400 to US$ 2,000 per month. “The jobs that pay the most are ‘premium’ jobs, which require more training from pilots,” said Josué Vieira, regional development agent at the National Union of Agricultural Aviation Companies. (Sindag; LinkedIn)

Anvisa approves toxicological evaluation of bixlozone 450 + sulfentrazone 150 g/L SC, with active ingredient not yet registered in Brazil, from FMC. (Anvisa)

Bruno Giudicissi is the new commercial director – East at FMC. (FMC Corporation)

Soybean cultivated area increase and climatic conditions during 2023/24 have favored the occurrence of pests, promoting a 3.7% increase in the area treated with pesticides. Regarding the volume of pesticides, a total of 811 thousand tonnes was recorded during the 2H of 2023. Of this, 49% are herbicides, 24% fungicides, 18% insecticides, 1% are seed treatment products, and 8% are classified as “other”. Amount used corresponds to 1.25 billion hectares treated. “Climate problems create uncertainty and increase the incidence of diseases, which require the use of pesticides so that farmers can guarantee good yields”, said the president of Sindiveg, Julio Borges. (Sindiveg)

Suzano, Portocel and Adufértil closed a partnership to develop a “new fertilizer route” through Portocel’s port terminal, which is expected to move between 120 thousand and 180 thousand tonnes of imported fertilizers per year. Adufértil intends to invest US$ 13.01 million in the installation of a fertilizer mixer facility in an area close to Portocel and to the Suzano factory, both located in Aracruz, State of Espírito Santo. Operations are expected to begin in 2026. This should allow the fertilizers to serve farmers in the States of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais and Bahia. According to Carlos Nassur, executive manager of Forestry Operations at Suzano, the investments should reinforce the competitiveness of their operation. “Much of the fertilizer we use in our forestry farms will arrive via Portocel, which contributes to strengthening our port”, said Nassur. (Suzano; Portocel; Adufértil)

Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of the State of Minas Gerais, National Rural Learning Service of Minas Gerais (Senar – MG), and the Union of Farmers from Cássia are promoting a training course about the application of pesticides using tractors in the city of Cássia, State of Minas Gerais. According to Caio Sandoval, an instructor from Senar – MG, the course is provided for by law, in accordance with the Regulatory Norm No. 31, which states that every person who handles pesticides must participate in pesticide application training courses. (Senar – MG; Sistema Faemg; Union of Farmers from Cássia)

According to Marcia José, director of Product Safety at Bayer for Latin America, the company’s new generation of GMO soybeans will be resistant against five herbicides, in addition to caterpillars. Fourth generation of GMO soybeans should be resistant, in addition to dicamba and glyphosate, to 2,4-D, mesotrione and glufosinate. Launch is scheduled for 2029/30. (Bayer)

Ricardo Landgraf is the new general director of Synap, Syngenta’s agricultural inputs retail platform. Job was held by Andre Savino, who became president of the company’s crop protection area in Brazil. (Syngenta)

The use of bioinputs in soybean farming generates significant savings, worth billions of dollars. Studies highlight that nitrogen-fixing microorganisms replace synthetic fertilizers, providing more than 300 kg of nitrogen/ha in soybean crops, with costs up to 95% lower. (Crop Care Holding)

Agricultural Defense Agency of the State of Goiás – Agrodefesa, together with the Road Inspection Battalion, seized 1,000 L of counterfeit pesticides with Bayer’s brand name (Fox Xpro) in Catalão, State of Goiás, on February 01st. Products were sent to the Civil Police. Bayer will provide support in the analysis, to conclude the investigation, and should assist in the disposal of the products. “These actions are important to ensure the quality of the product that reaches the market. These are products that, if used irregularly, can cause damages to human health and economic losses”, said Lúcio Costa, regional coordinator at Agrodefesa. (Agrodefesa)

Diego Palota is the new commercial head for the Brazilian Cerrado Biome at Syngenta. (Syngenta)

Dealers of agricultural inputs, agro-industries, agricultural wholesalers, agricultural support services, industries and resales of agricultural machinery, etc., had a record number of requests for judicial recovery [a court-supervised process that allows insolvent companies to suspend debts and negotiate new terms for them] in the State of Goiás. In 2023, the State came in second place in the ranking of requests for judicial recovery, behind only the State of Mato Grosso. (Serasa Experian)

In 2023, Ibama approved 28 formulated pesticide evaluations through legal action, compared to 48 in 2022. Most of the products approved through legal action in 2023 were from Rainbow (4), Tecnomyl (4), and CHDS (3), with the majority of products consisting of 2,4-D (5) and glyphosate (5). In 2023 there was a jump in the approval of formulated products by Ibama, reaching a total of 342 approved products, compared to 170 in 2022, which represents twice the number of approvals in the annual comparison. Most approved products were glyphosate (26) and flumioxazin (20). (Ibama)

Alexandre de Moraes, Minister at the Supreme Federal Court, asked for a review of the judgment requesting declaration of unconstitutionality for measures that grant tax exemption for pesticides. So far, there are three votes to maintain tax benefits and two to reconsider them. This is the fourth time that the trial has been interrupted by a request for review, which gives more time for analysis, since it began in 2020. (STF)

Bayer’s Herbicides Manager for Latin America, Matheus Palhano, warned that resistance of weeds against herbicides should increase in the coming years. “In the more than 44 million hectares with soybeans in Brazil, approximately 60% of this area has a weed resistant to at least one active ingredient. By 2030, there is a possibility that this percentage will exceed 65% of the area with soybean, with the tendency for there to be more than one weed resistant to multiple types of active ingredient,” said Palhano. “The first step is to abandon the individual weed control approach for each crop and adopt a comprehensive management system for the entire season, including soybeans, corn, cotton and other crops in the rotation”. (Bayer)

Plaucius Figueiredo Seixas is the new managing partner at Agriconnecion Essentials Southeast. (Agriconnection)

Agrivalle, a Brazilian bioinputs company, announced a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech company from the USA. Companies aim to collaborate on the development of cutting-edge technologies to advance biological products, including fertilizers and biological control agents. (Agrivalle; Ginkgo Bioworks)

Welles Pascoal to leave his position as CEO of AgroGalaxy after March 01st, being replaced by Axel Labourt, the company’s current COO. AgroGalaxy is going through a restructuring process, in which approximately 19 stores and 80 corporate positions will be closed, according to Eron Martins, CFO and director of investor relations. “Today, for example, if I have five stores in a certain region, which are within a short distance, I can have four stores or even three, without failing to serve the farmers well”, said Martins. In total, the company will still have 150 stores in the country. (AgroGalaxy)

President of the Brazilian Agriculture and Livestock Confederation, senator Kátia Abreu, defends greater agility in approving registration of new pesticides, with the aim of expanding the supply of these inputs on the market and reducing food prices for consumers. “In the USA, the registration period for a pesticide reaches a maximum of two years. We cannot accept this slowness here in Brazil”, said the senator. (CNA)

Latin America

Gustavo Vasques steps down as CEO of ICL in South America and is to become the senior vice president of ICL Growing Solutions AG Europe after 03/15/2024. Alfredo Kober will be the company’s new CEO in South America. (ICL Group)

Corteva reported net earnings per share of US$ 1.30 in 2023, a decrease of 22% from 2022. Profit from continuing operations fell 23%, to US$ 941 million. Net revenue decreased 1%, to US$ 17.2 billion, driven in part by reduced sales in Latin America. (Corteva)

Fertilizer use in 2023 was the lowest in recent years in Argentina. 784 thousand tonnes of urea were imported, for example. Although the volume of urea imports in 2023 was close to that of 2022,  1.6 million tonnes were imported in 2021, more than double the amount of 2023. According to Jeremías Battistoni, consultant at AZ Group, poor trade relations, difficulties in the import sector and adverse weather conditions, especially drought, were the main factors that affected fertilizer consumption in the period. (AZ Group; Fundación Mediterránea)

Field day organized by Surcos, an agrochemical company from Argentina, took more than 200 participants to learn about “nanoactive” technology. According to the company, the use of nanoactive products can generate savings of up to 50% in the use of pesticides. “We sought to create a space that represents situations or scenarios that farmers or professionals face on a daily basis”, according to Antonio Cavaglia, marketing manager at Surcos. “Farmers were able to learn about the agronomic, technical and environmental benefits of nanoactive formulation technology, which significantly increases the bioefficacy and bioavailability of herbicides.” (Surcos)

Mayor of the district of Pehuajó, in Argentina, Pablo Zurro, announced a proposed ordinance with the aim of charging a fee equivalent to 2 L of diesel/ha for the use of pesticides in the region. (Pehuajó City Hall)

Brazil and Bolivia signed an agreement for fertilizer production on January 30th. Agreement provides, among other actions, for studies to be performed to build nitrogen fertilizer factories in both countries. “We signed an important memorandum of understanding about fertilizers with Bolivia, the newest member of Mercosur. We will reduce our external dependence on essential inputs for our farms and strengthen our regional chains, making our agribusiness even more competitive”, stated the vice-president of Brazil, Geraldo Alckmin. (MDIC)

Researchers from University of Rosario, Colombia, patented a chemical formula, based on flavonoids, which seeks to protect bees from the harmful effects of pesticides. According to André Josafat Riveros, research coordinator, after exposure to certain types of pesticides, bees can lose their sense of spatial orientation and may not identify flowers or even the path to their hives. “The formula we developed reduces these changes in bees and other pollinators,” said Riveros. (University of Rosario)

According to Jorge Ozuna Mendivil, president of the Beekeepers Association of Sinaloa, Mexico, the use of pesticides is killing bees in the region. According to him, a mortality rate of 20% of bees in the State was recorded, which is well above the average of 10%. Mendivil points to the use of fipronil as responsible for the deaths. Fipronil is banned in Sinaloa. (Sinaloa Beekeepers Association)


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