Agricultural Surfactants — The Most Widely Adopted Form of Agrochemicals
Agrochemicals, commonly known as crop protection chemicals, are a critical part of the agricultural ecosystem and play a significant role in protecting crops from varied pests and weed diseases. One of the most widely used agrochemicals is agricultural surfactant.
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A surfactant is a surface active agent used for enhancing the functioning and effects of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and others. Surfactants are mostly used for protecting grains, however, their use for fruits and vegetables is also increasing at a rapid rate. Owing to the advantages that surfactants offer, increasing demand for food, and the consequent need for high agricultural productivity, the overall demand for surfactants is increasing rapidly in the farming industry, thus propelling the growth of the global agricultural surfactants market.
According to the latest market intelligence report titled “Global Agricultural Surfactants Market — Analysis and Forecast (2019–2024),” published by BIS Research, the global agricultural surfactants market is projected to witness stable growth at 6.50% during the forecast period, 2019–2024. The market was valued at $1.27 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $1.85 billion by 2024.
The report published by BIS Research categorizes the market for agricultural surfactants under six different segments namely, type, crop type, application, substrate type, method of propagation, and region.
Herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are the key application areas of agricultural surfactants. Surfactants are most popularly used with herbicides, thus contributing to the largest market revenue for the herbicides segment in 2019. The herbicides segment is anticipated to maintain its dominance in terms of revenue in 2024 also. The fungicide and insecticide segments are also projected to witness stable growth during the forecast period.
A section of the report also discusses the different propagation methods used for the application of surfactants. Seed treatment, soil treatment, and foliar spray are the three most popular propagation methods. The foliar spray method acquired the highest market share in 2019 and is forecasted to maintain its dominance during the forecast period as well, followed by the seed treatment method. The high expected growth of the foliar spray segment can be attributed to its fast and immediate effects to overcome limitations such as leaching and insoluble fertilizer precipitation.
Agricultural surfactants are being widely adopted, however, owing to the harmful effects of chemicals associated with their use, bio-based agricultural surfactants, are currently witnessing high demand. The eco-friendly and biodegradable nature of bio-based surfactants is the key feature fueling their demand in the industry.
Several eminent research institutes and organizations and prominent companies are focusing on developing environment-friendly and effective surfactants. Some of the leading companies of the agricultural surfactants market include BASF SE, Croda Chemicals, DowDuPont, Evonik Industries, and Huntsman Corporation.