tractors in field

Biologicals are complements to conventional crop protection

February 07, 2024 12:30 p.m.


Biologicals aren’t new to agriculture, but they represent new opportunities in row crops.

The number of biological products designed to enhance crop management and productivity has surged in recent years. This rapid growth has created some confusion around what biologicals are and what they can do.

Matthew Pye, biologicals subject matter expert for FMC, hopes to define biologicals’ place in the row crop market.  

“Biologicals are beneficial organisms or naturally occurring compounds often derived from living organisms that are structurally similar and functionally identical to their naturally occurring counterparts,” explains Pye.


Adding to traditional crop protection

Biologicals are most impactful when used with other crop protection technologies.

“Instead of simply replacing conventional crop protection products, biologicals change the way we use them,” explains Pye. “When combined with synthetic products, biologicals can help provide enhanced control and added physiological benefits that would otherwise not be achieved with synthetic products alone.”


Integrating biologicals in fields

Pye points to an on-farm grower trial in Indiana to showcase how integrating biologicals in pest management programs helps push control and results.

In 2023, the grower added Zironar® biofungicide/bionematicide in combination with the new Peking variety in alternating planter passes across the field. They were left with a field that had a “wave-like” appearance. According to Pye, you could easily pick out where Zironar biofungicide/bionematicide had not been applied.


Zironar biofungicide/bionematicide field trial 2023

Warsaw, Indiana

soybean field

Photo caption: Zironar biofungicide/bionematicide applications at 9 fl. oz./A alongside untreated check rows  

Zironar soybean pods

Photo caption: Check (left) 203 pods, Zironar biofungicide/bionematicide 9 fl. oz./A (right) 280 pods


Ensuring compatibility

The success of biologicals is largely dependent upon being compatible with other input chemistries.  

“Growers must make sure the biological product they select is compatible with those other inputs going in the tank, otherwise they won’t get the results they are expecting,” says Pye.

For more information about Zironar biofungicide/bionematicide, visit

Always read and follow all label directions, precautions and restrictions for use. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states. FMC, the FMC logo and Zironar are trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. ©2024 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. 23-FMC-3247 02/24