Agricultural Biologicals: Terms and Definitions

Pesticides are agents, substances or mixtures of substances used to prevent, destroy or control pests (including weeds) and diseases.

Pesticides may be classified by target (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides etc.), grouped into chemical families (organophosphates, carbamates etc.) or classified according to their biological mode of action (photosynthesis inhibitors, respiration inhibitors etc.).


A pesticide may be a chemical (conventional pesticide) or a biological agent (biopesticide).

Biopesticides, together with biostimulants and biofertilizers make up the product group of Agricultural Biologicals.

Biostimulants and biofertilizers are defined as biological substances or microorganisms capable of promoting crop health by increasing the availability of nutrients, or by acting as plant strengtheners and phytostimulants.

Biopesticides are pesticides based on microorganisms or natural products.

Biopesticides introduce unique and complex modes of action, and can be used in plant production on an equal footing with chemical pesticides — if used correctly.

Most biopesticides are intended for use with traditional pesticides, which is contributing to the rapid increase in their use.