Bacteria, fungi and viruses essential for improving the sustainability of crop protection

In its farm-to-fork strategy, the EU sets strict requirements for the use of chemical pesticides. Many products will be, or already are, banned, which means that other solutions must be found for producers to protect their crops against diseases and pests. The recently published book ‘Microbial bioprotectants for plant disease management’ discusses the latest developments in the biological protection of crops using beneficial bacteria, fungi and viruses. The book – with contributions from various authors and edited by researchers from Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Koppert Biological Systems – provides a balanced picture of the possibilities and benefits, as well as the challenges, that l use of biological crop protection implies.

In “Microbial bioprotectants for plant disease management”, international experts involved in research institutes and producers of plant protection products explain how beneficial microorganisms can be used to fight against pathogens within the framework of the biological protection of crops. . The authors provide a general overview of how the products are discovered, developed and implemented in practice.

Combine science and implementation
“The book is particularly valuable because of its combined emphasis on science and application. Information on the market outlook and the authorization policy for organic products is essential for any researcher who develops new methods of sustainable crop protection, ”explains Jürgen Köhl, senior researcher at WUR and one of the editors of the book.

Organic crop protection is better for humans and the environment and also contributes to the maintenance and protection of biodiversity. In addition, it is necessary due to stricter European legislation. The outlook for the market changes accordingly. However, the complex and very long authorization procedure still hinders the application of organic products.

Source of knowledge and inspiration
“In this book, experts around the world describe many solutions found in nature to prevent and combat plant diseases, as well as examples of situations in which this is already happening,” says Koppert co-editor Willem Ravensberg Biological Systems. “The book is a great source of knowledge and inspiration for researchers, product developers, policy makers and end users and demonstrates that beneficial microorganisms are essential for sustainable agriculture in the near future.”

The book is available – partly open access – from the Burleigh Dodds Science publishing house. It can be ordered here.

For more information:
Wageningen University and Research

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