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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X

Abstract

PARRA, José Roberto Postali. Biological Control in Brazil: an overview. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2014, vol.71, n.5, pp.420-429. ISSN 1678-992X.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-9016-2014-0167.

The use of Biological Control methods is on the increase, mainly as a result of the mobilization of human resources in entomology studies since the establishment of graduate programs in this country in the 1960s. This review approaches the retrospective of Biological Control in Brazil in recent decades, with an emphasis on the "culture of applying agrochemicals" adopted by Brazilian growers, which constrains progress in this area. Successful cases of Biological Control have been reported on in Brazil and there are, in fact, excellent programs in place that use insects or entomopathogenic microrganisms for insect pest control. Most of the studies in this area have been published in Portuguese and are, therefore, not readily available internationally. Importantly, half of the planted sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), around four million hectares, is treated with natural enemies (insects) and/or pathogens. In contrast to other countries that employ Biological Control in small areas, the challenge in Brazil is to implement programs in large farms. Many obstacles must be overcome and discussed in working groups so that we can assume a world leadership position in the use of Biological Control in tropical regions as Brazil is already considered the leader in tropical agriculture. In this review, use of Biological Control is discussed within the Integrated Pest Management philosophy, as a path toward sustainable agriculture that is in harmony with other pest control methods. We must develop a technology of Biological Control adapted to tropical regions, rather than copying models developed for temperate regions, which are usually inappropriate for Brazilian conditions.

Keywords : tropical agriculture; entomology; integrated pest management; sustainable agriculture.

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