Crop Protection and Nutrition - Weekly Update Brazil & Latin America (02/22/24 – 02/28/24)


Farmers are prohibited from using thiamethoxam by spraying in Brazil


Ibama restricted the use of thiamethoxam, in order to protect bees. Farmers are prohibited from using thiamethoxam by foliar application, but can apply it directly to the soil or through seed treatment. Products with thiamethoxam purchased up to the date of publication of the announcement (02/23/24) may be used until they are exhausted, according to specifications on the label and leaflet that were defined at the time of purchase. Deadline of 180 days has been established for manufacturing/formulating companies to adapt to the new standards on the label and leaflet. (Ibama)

In compliance with a court decision, Anvisa approves pesticide toxicological evaluation of acetamiprid + bifenthrin (Rainbow); mancozeb + picoxystrobin + tebuconazole OD (Adama); clodinafop-propargyl 240 g/L EC (Cropchem). (Anvisa)

“The acquisition of indirect controlling interest of the Fertilizantes Heringer fertilizer company was important to our growth journey. The strategy reinforces our commitment to Brazilian agribusiness, strengthens our distribution capacity and helps us achieve our goals for South America”, said Gustavo Horbach, CEO of EuroChem for Latin America. (EuroChem)

BioSummit 2024 will take place on May 28th and 29th, in Campinas, State of São Paulo. “We are building a space to create business opportunities, where industry, farmers and the distribution sector are side by side with researchers and regulatory agencies to share knowledge and discuss trends”, said Daiana Lopes, CEO of FB Group, the event’s organizer. (FB Group)

Embrapa studied 932 populations of sourgrass (Digitaria insularis) suspected of resistance to herbicides between 2009 and 2023. Of the total, 799 samples were collected in the State of Paraná, and 133 in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. “None of the populations of Digitaria insularis was found to be resistant to the ACCase inhibitor herbicides studied, clethodim and haloxyfop, which, in addition to glyphosate, are the herbicides most used to control this weed. Therefore, all 932 populations were considered susceptible or tolerant to this group of herbicides. For glyphosate, the result was very different, as 718 of the 932 populations studied were identified as resistant… which represents 77% of the total.” (Embrapa)

Macaé municipality, State of Rio de Janeiro, plans to receive US$ 1.01 billion in investments for a nitrogen fertilizer factory through the National Fertilizer Plan. Mayor Welberth Rezende presented the project during a public hearing held at the Commercial and Industrial Association of Macaé. According to him, this project could create around 5 thousand jobs, strengthening the economic development of the region. Macaé plans to host one of five future fertilizer projects defined by the Federal Government. “We need to start thinking now about a way to take advantage of the strength of oil to guarantee the city’s economic future. And the fertilizer factory makes Macaé’s full potential viable in being the main city that receives and processes natural gas in Brazil”, said Welberth. (Macaé City Hall)

Research performed by the Federal University of Ceará indicates that cypermethrin, deltamethrin, permethrin and malathion are contaminating the “Cocó” and “Ceará” rivers. Next steps of the research involve understanding how those substances are metabolized by aquatic animals and how they react during the cooking process. The State Environmental Superintendence stated that it does not analyze pesticides when monitoring the water of the “Cocó” and “Ceará” rivers. (UFC; Semace)

In 2022, biopesticides represented 9% of the Brazilian crop protection market, which represents more than double the percentage in 2020, around 4%. From 2018 to 2022, the Brazilian biopesticides market grew 62%, compared to an increase of approximately 16% in the global market during the period. (S&P Global)

Senator Zenaide Mais presented Bill No. 166/2024, which seeks to amend the Consumer Protection Code (Law No. 8078/1990). Bill “obliges food suppliers to inform the consumers of the list of pesticides, herbicides, chemical agents and other substances for controlling pests or increasing yields used in the production chain”. (Agência Senado)

According to Jeferson Souza, market analyst at Agrinvest Commodities, there should be an increase in the area planted with cotton, especially in the State of Mato Grosso. “Mato Grosso is expected to cultivate more than 1.3 million hectares in this season. Analyzing production costs, we have a very expensive cotton crop. Expenditure on pesticides and fertilizers is much higher, in addition to requiring a much more robust structure when compared to soybeans and corn. When we think about the purchasing power of cotton farmers, in recent months, we realize that, in the case of fertilizers, such as urea, the values were very similar to historical averages. This is a totally different scenario from 2022″, according to Souza. (Agrinvest Commodities)

Waldenir Castellar Jr. is the new commercial & marketing director at Ponto Rural, a company focused on sales and distribution of agri inputs, with HQ in Londrina, State of Paraná. (Ponto Rural)

Brazil and Russia discuss an agreement to increase fertilizer trade between the countries. The Russian-Brazilian Intergovernmental Commission held a meeting in Moscow to discuss expanding exports to Brazil. Group is chaired by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Brazilian Vice President Geraldo Alckmin. “Members of the commission discussed the possibility of increasing the export of Russian mineral fertilizers. In 2023, more than 8 million tonnes of fertilizers were sent to Brazil, which corresponds to 25% of all Russian exports of this product”, according to a note from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (MID)

Kynetec Brasil found that five key agribusiness crops generated, in 2022/23, sales of more than US$ 28.07 billion in plant nutrition products. Cotton, sugarcane and off-season corn are also being considered by Kynetec’s research, which previously focused on coffee and soybean farming. These crops corresponded to 34% of the inputs market, of approximately US$ 83.39 billion, including pesticides and seeds. According to Kynetec’s research specialist, Raquel Ribeiro, soybean drove sales in the crops nutrition market, reaching 58% of the total, or US$ 16.24 billion, while off-season corn had the second best performance, reaching 18% or US$ 5.01 billion. Sugarcane, coffee and cotton sales of crop nutrition products reached US$ 3.61 billion (13%), US$ 1.80 billion (7%) and US$ 1 billion (4%), respectively. (Kynetec Brasil)

Wasp Doryctobracon areolatus is native to Brazil, and can detect presence of fruit fly larvae (Ceratitis capitata), laying its eggs directly on the pest, which dies after a few days. “The truth is that, when we talk about biological control, we are not able to do this work with microorganisms on all crops. There are certain crops in which it is better to use a parasitoid insect”, according to Dori Nava, responsible for research at Embrapa which developed a method for commercially reproducing the predatory wasp. “When an entomopathogen is produced, it is possible to formulate a product as if it were a chemical one. It has a shelf life, with an expiration date of two, three or four months. In the case of insects, this is not possible. It is necessary to release the insects into nature, it cannot be stored”, said Nava. (Embrapa)

In regards to the environmental revaluation of thiamethoxam, Syngenta said in a statement: “the ban on the use of THMX [thiamethoxam] will have direct and profound impacts on the main Brazilian crops, which will inevitably bring social and economic consequences, as neonicotinoids often are the only registered product option for the effective control of certain difficult-to-control pests… which will lead to their lack of control, if they are removed from the market. We defend the maintenance of aerial application of THMX [thiamethoxam] as it is essential in important crops, especially rice and sugarcane… a ban on aerial application of insecticides would cause production losses of 30% to 90%“. (Syngenta)

According to the president of IbamaRodrigo de Agostinho Mendonça, the Pesticides Law No. 14785/23 promotes “updates in pesticide legislation, notably in the 1989 regulations. Eleven vetoes were applied, most of them in response to requests from Ibama. In conjunction with Anvisa and the Ministry of Agriculture, Ibama plays a crucial role in the registration, analysis and revaluation of these products”. (Ibama)

Biostimulants have stood out in the plant nutrition market. In 2022/23, 63% (US$ 220 million) of biostimulants sold in Brazil were destined for soybeans, sugarcane, 16% (US$ 57.13 million), off-season corn, 12% (US$ 43.70 million), coffee, 6% (US$ 21.45 million) and cotton, 3% (US$ 12.03 million). In soybeans, at least 41% of the area received treatments with biostimulants. (Kynetec Brasil)

Ministry of Agriculture has approved the registration of 42 pesticides, 7 of which are biological products. (MAPA)

Pesticide registration by the Agricultural Defense Coordination of the State of São Paulo – CDA will no longer be necessary. According to Technical Note, “the registration of pesticide products by the CDA will no longer be carried out, since Federal Law No. 14785/2023 had an immediate and general application, establishing that the publication of the pesticide registration on the website of the registering federal agency authorizes commercialization and use in the States and in the Federal District”. (CDA)

According to Nilto Mendes, manager of illegal products prevention at CropLife Brasil, misinformation and low prices encourage the illegal pesticides market. “To reduce the costs of agricultural production, the farmer purchases pesticides without registration, without a proper agricultural recommendation, of unknown origin and without an invoice. Farmers imagine that they are doing a good deal, which is not the case.” (CropLife Brasil)

According to Nutrien, Brazilian farmers are expected to continue expanding the soybean area, which increases the need for fertilizer imports in the 2Q and 3Q of 2024. According to the company, global demand for potash remained robust throughout the 2H of 2023, with estimates of annual shipments between 67 and 68 million tonnes. The increase was driven by strong consumption and increased imports in key markets such as North America, China and Brazil. (Nutrien)

The “Araucária Nitrogenados” fertilizer factory should be the first Petrobras fertilizer factory to return to operation in Brazil, said the company’s president, Jean Paul Prates. “We don’t have a defined timeline, but we have a defined disposition. Our Strategic Plan authorized it, and not only authorized it, but also placed fertilizers back on Petrobras’ investment agenda”, according to Prates. “There is the Araucária [fertilizer factory], which is close to our refinery, which must also go back to operation. It uses atmospheric residues, and does not use natural gas. We will be able to reopen it. This will probably be the fastest, the one that will reopen first”. (Petrobras)

Foliar application of potassium can increase fruit production by up to 20%, according to Deyvid Bueno, product manager at ICL South America. According to Bueno, potassium can also increase plant resistance during stressful conditions, such as drought, by strengthening plant cell walls. According to Ana Clara Pimenta, customer success consultant at Verde Agritech, potassium is essential for achieving high yields in citrus farming, occupying – along with nitrogen – the top ranking of the most important nutrients for citrus crops. Potassium is related to citrus yields, fruit size and number of fruits. (ICL South America; Verde Agritech)

AgroGalaxy hired Banco Santander as a financial advisor to seek partners in a possible operation involving its seed business. According to the company, this is a preliminary negotiation and there is, to date, no potential business under analysis/discussion involving the company’s seed business. (AgroGalaxy)

Research performed by the Agronomical Institute of Campinas – IAC evaluated the exposure of workers during pesticide spraying on citrus crops. “The most relevant result answers an old question from the citrus sector: inside the cabin of the tractor used to spray agricultural pesticides, is the worker safe from the exposure to products?”, said the researcher Hamilton Ramos. “We have concluded that is not the case: the cabin alone is not a sufficient measure to reduce risks for this worker when spraying agrochemicals in citrus.” (IAC)

According to André Savino, president of Syngenta Crop Protection in Brazil, the approval of the pesticides law No. 14785/2023 is “a major evolution for the regulatory framework for agricultural pesticides in the country and represents the modernization of national agriculture. Without giving up the technical and scientific control from the competent agencies, which are among the strictest in the world, the law will enable advances in the approval of new molecules and guarantee a more agile process for the registration of efficient, technological and, above all, more sustainable products”. (Syngenta)

Fertilizer market began 2024 with more attractive prices for farmers, after fluctuations experienced in 2022 and in the 1H of 2023. In January of 2024, values of formulated products and ammonium nitrate, one of the main fertilizers used in grain cultivation, fell 34% and 40.8%, respectively, when compared to January of 2023. (Faesp)

According to the Brazilian Association of Soybean Farmers – Aprosoja, Ibama banned the spraying of thiamethoxam “without providing technical reasons”. The Association argues that neonicotinoids do not present a proven risk of harming bees in Brazil. “With this decision, Ibama ignores old and new rules on the registration of pesticides. According to the current regulation (Law No. 14785/2023), approved by the National Congress, it is not up to Ibama to make this decision unilaterally. It would be up to the Ministry of Agriculture, in possession of the information generated by the environmental agency, to make the most appropriate technical and regulatory decisions in the case, to propose mitigation measures to maintain the product or, if applicable, prohibit foliar application”. (Aprosoja Brasil)

Fapesp and Koppert are researching the control of corn leafhopper (Dalbulus maidis) through the use of Cordyceps javanica fungus. “The fungus begins to affect the behavior of the  corn leafhopper two days after spraying the bioinsecticide, reducing the insects’ feeding activity in the phloem vessels of corn plants, the place where the transmission of phytopathogens occurs”, according to Nathalie Maluta, researcher at Koppert Brasil. Maluta said that, in addition to being aggravated by the climate crisis, the proliferation of the corn leafhopper is a result of the expansion of large-scale monoculture and the inadequate use of chemical control. “When applying chemical insecticides without prior monitoring and without knowing whether there is a need to take any control measures, the selection of resistant individuals occurs, since susceptible insects die and resistant ones remain in the crops”. (Fapesp; Koppert)

Anvisa organized a webinar on Guideline No. 69/2023 for evaluation of neurotoxicity associated with pesticides. Document provides registrant companies with recommendations regarding the evaluation conducted by Anvisa on the neurotoxicity of the active ingredients of pesticides and their technical products. (Anvisa)

Latin America

BASF estimates a slowdown in the company’s growth in South America. Performance in Brazil should weaken, while other countries in the region may recover. In South America, Africa and the Middle East, sales fell to US$2.23 billion due to lower volumes and negative exchange rate effects, mainly from the peso in Argentina. (BASF)

FMC published its financial results. Revenue reached US$ 1.15 billion in the 4Q of 2023, a reduction of 29% when compared to the same period of 2022. According to Mark Douglas, CEO of FMC, during the 4Q of 2023, there was a “continuous reduction in channels across all regions, while the drought in Brazil has also increased challenges in Latin America”. Sales in Latin America fell 38%. (FMC Corporation)

According to the Minister of Agriculture of Brazil, Carlos Fávaro, the memorandum signed between Brazil and Bolivia for cooperation in the fertilizer sector can boost production in both countries through the construction of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium fertilizer factories. “Alternatives need to be created. One of them is the supply of natural gas at more competitive prices, so that we can reestablish construction and complete, for example, the fertilizer factories in Três Lagoas, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, and in Cuiabá, State of Mato Grosso, the supply of natural gas from Bolivia is essential”. Bolivia has large reserves of natural gas, the raw material for the production of nitrogen fertilizers, “but lacks the capacity and resources to develop its markets – a shortage that the memorandum attempts to reduce by providing for technical cooperation actions, an industrial development plan and investment attraction program, among other measures”. (MAPA)

Futureco Bioscience, a Spanish company specializing in bioinputs, announced the opening of a subsidiary in Costa Rica. “Given our experience in the region, it was logical for Futureco Bioscience to open a subsidiary in Costa Rica to advance and reinforce our commitment in Latin America”, says Rafael Juncosa, CEO of the company. (Futureco Bioscience)


Company Wants to Explore Potash in the Amazon Region, but There Are Setbacks