We asked experts from pesticide manufacturers: Looking 15 years down the road to 2031, do you think golf course superintendents will be using more biopesticides — possibly developed and/or manufactured by you — on their golf courses? Why or why not?
Director of Technical Services T&O
Absolutely, I feel superintendents will be utilizing more biopesticides on their courses 15 years from now. I believe this will be driven by the desire to move toward softer and more environmentally friendly chemistry. Today, few biopesticides exist that provide the effectiveness of traditional chemistry, but with more and more research and development in this field, I’m confident new, highly effective products based upon existing compounds in nature will be integrated into pest control programs.
Product Development Manager
We are seeking and eager to find new and sustainable ways to incorporate biological solutions into the tool boxes of golf course superintendents, allowing them greater flexibility when selecting the proper product for the job at hand. Over the past few years, Bayer has consistently increased investment in research pertaining to biological solutions, including biopesticides for superintendents. We expect to bring new products over the next 15 years that will build on our current product offerings in this area.
Product Development Manager
Sipcam Agro USA
The general public and our government both promote and incentivize the use of alternative pesticides. Biopesticides, which have potential for an improved environmental profile, will continue to be key components of broader IPM programs, particularly those associated with food production and landscape maintenance. Specific to golf courses, I believe that utilization of biopesticides will increase at a moderate pace with focus on chronic soil-borne insect, nematode and turf diseases where microbial pesticides can be used to eliminate or suppress pest damage in concert with conventional pesticides. The economic challenges of developing and registering new biopesticides for niche markets and the current need for programmatic approaches to achieve acceptable pest control will likely limit the speed of growth for biopesticides.
Marketing and Product Manager
Engage Agro U.S.A.
Biopesticides continue to gain momentum in the golf industry. Golf course superintendents are increasingly more aware of the natural pesticide products that are available. Many superintendents have already begun to successfully incorporate biopesticide products in with their conventional pest programs, adding benefits such as resistance management as well as leaning toward a more “sustainable” approach. Additionally, manufacturers are increasing their attention to natural active ingredients, increasing the biopesticide product options. In 15 years, we will undoubtedly see more biopesticide options in the market.
Head of Technical Services for Turf, Landscape and Pest Management
Syngenta continuously invests in new product development to meet the changing needs of its customers. To date, Syngenta has launched over a half a dozen biological products in agriculture that range from controlling chewing insects to foliar diseases to nematodes. In our turf biopesticide research and development program, two of our key measurements of success are efficacy against pests and meeting demand. Efficacy is critical to successful turf maintenance, and if we can develop highly effective products with favorable environmental profiles that are also in demand, then I think it is plausible that biologicals may be used more on golf courses.
Brand Manager – Herbicides and Fungicides
FMC Global Specialty Solutions
In 15 years I do believe that biopesticides will have more of a presence in our industry. However, synthetic chemistries will still dominate turf management programs. I can see biopesticides being incorporated into management programs for specific uses, such as managing synthetic resistance issues. But in order for superintendents to provide acceptable playing conditions at their facilities, there will still be a heavy dependence on synthetic products to provide broad-spectrum, residual control.