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Agriculture needs Fresh Approach to Tackle Growing Problem of Insect Resistance to Biopesticides, New Analysis finds

Insect pests which attack crops have extraordinary powers to develop resistance to greener pesticides and a new way to manage resistance risks is needed, according to analysis by University of Stirling scientists.

For more than 70 years, agriculture's response to pesticide resistance has been to seek new pesticides in an endless race to keep up with evolving pests.

Researchers now propose a new way to step off this treadmill as farmers embrace the ongoing green revolution in  by switching to biopesticides derived from natural organisms.

The evolution of resistance to biopesticides—a crucial tool in the development of sustainable crop protection—has huge implications for food security worldwide as the global population grows.

In a bid to address this emerging challenge, researchers have deployed principles from fundamental evolutionary ecological science and proposed a practical framework for managing the risks of biopesticide resistance evolution.

They suggest that farmers can help manage resistance risks by planting a wider diversity of crops and use multiple biopesticides.

Scientists from Stirling's Faculty of Natural Sciences, working with colleagues at the University of Gothenburg and São Paulo State University, conducted a synthesis of existing biopesticide research and argued that resistance evolution is already occurring and is likely to become widespread as biopesticide use continues to increase.

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