MSOB: Broadening Approach to Biocontrol Research to Look for Untapped Potential 

Brian German Industry, Making Sense of Biologicals


There is still a great deal of untapped potential in the world of biocontrol options. Biobest R&D Director, Felix Wackers said their discovery of a new mite species and its ability to control both pests and disease could serve as an example for future research paths.

“If you look at the solutions that the biocontrol industry has developed – and they’ve developed a lot of very good solutions – but they all have been from a limited number of families that have been explored and looked at. There’s a lot of other organisms out there that actually never have been considered as biocontrol agents,” said Wackers. “Don’t get stuck in the applications of only using microbials for disease control and only using insects and mites for insect and mite control. This shows that there’s all kinds of other possibilities that we should be looking at.”

Broadening the view of the possibilities of biocontrol could lead to other important discoveries that will benefit growers. Wackers pointed out that natural solutions to agricultural issues should remain an important part of the conversation when talking about the future of farming innovations. “There’s a whole world out there that is waiting to be discovered and we should be, when we talk about innovations, also consider ecological innovations and develop new solutions that way,” Wackers explained.

Listen to the full episode with Felix Wackers below.

‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

This episode of Making Sense of Biologicals is made possible by Marrone Bio Innovations, leading the movement to environmentally sustainable farming practices through the discovery, development and sale of innovative biological products for crop protection, crop health and crop nutrition. Marrone Bio’s portfolio of 18 products helps a wide range of growers – from row crops and fruits and vegetables to tree nuts, vines, and greenhouse production – operate more sustainably while increasing their return on investment. For educational webinars and biological IPM programs, visit