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Brazil to open nematode plant

Brazil is to open its “first” production plant for nematodes for use in crop protection. The regional Sao Paulo Agriculture Ministry’s biological institute says that production at the plant will start early in 2009 in Campinas, the national daily, Valor Economico, reports. Its initial focus will be on nematodes for use against sugar cane weevils ( Sphenophorus levis), which it describes as one of the key pests impacting sugar cane. The institute has carried out research for five years, and expects initially to produce nematodes to cover 2,000 ha of sugar cane in the state. The nematodes would be effective as part of a biological control programme, researchers say. A wide range of agrochemicals have so far been used. The researchers add that tests show the predators to be as effective as pesticides in controlling the pest.

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