“These materials have advantages and are typically tolerant exempt,” Stoneman said. “Many of (them) have a zero to four hour re-entry interval, typically a zero pre-harvest interval and excellent worker safety,” he said. That is a tremendous benefit for farmers and workers who are required to wait days in some cases to enter a field after certain chemicals have been sprayed.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines biopesticides as products that contain natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria and certain minerals. That includes canola oil and baking soda, both of which have pesticidal applications.

But most people in the pest and disease control business turn to Bts as familiar examples of biopesticides. They have been consistently effective against certain pests when properly applied, and humans have not been negatively affected in all the time they have been in use.


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One California supplier of biopesticides explained that the materials have been used mostly in high-value crops, often vegetables, but they are being more widely used in large acreage crops in the state and in the Midwest.

Coupling the long-term experience of the traditional agricultural chemical companies as they include plant extracts, microbial fermentation products, live micro-organisms with protein molecules brings a new era to pest and disease control in agriculture. Botta bing!

For those of us who write about such things it might mean the age of a whole new vocabulary, which is sure to be trying, but hopefully not as distressing as it is to a whole host of critters that mean nothing but harm to wholesome food products.