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Crop protection chemicals have significantly contributed to global food security vision by reducing crop damage due to pests and diseases. On the other hand, aberrant usage of crop protection chemicals has led to the impairment of health of the environment in recent decades. Severe environmental bodies pollution has urged the sudden need for the reduction of use of crop protection chemicals and also emphasized the requirement of effective utilization of limited quantity of active ingredients to maintain the balance between environment and pesticides usage.
Crop protection chemicals or agrochemicals industry has seen rapid developments in pesticides products and technologies in response to bring out economic, social, and environmental benefits. Strict regulatory mandates and problems associated with the traditional pesticide products and application methods have forced industry players to invest in the R&D activities to innovate new formulation products and technologies having the properties such as minimal environment pollution, improved safety, and reduced toxicity, easier application facility, and labor and cost saving.
A surfactant is an adjuvant which improves the efficacy of pesticides application by advancing beneficial properties such as reducing the surface tension of spray droplets, increasing retention capacity of spray chemical, and facilitating the spray droplets to spread over larger surface area. Surfactants aid crop producers in reducing the volume of spray chemical requirement as these help in the spread of the spray droplets to large surface area (spread of the spray chemical is more critical in contact herbicides).
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In a way to deal with the growing need for agriculture surfactant products, many companies have invested in R&D to develop and launch various products. Surfactants with various combined functions (compatibility with different crop protection chemicals, dispersion, retention, etc.), bio-degradable and naturally-derived surfactant formulations are gaining high importance in the market place.
The modern approach of crop production, shortage of labor, increased use of crop protection chemicals are few of the key factors that are driving the growth of the global surfactants market. Precision farming is another factor which is boosting the demand for agricultural spray surfactants to achieve precision in the application of crop protection chemicals. Lack of adequate awareness among the crop producers in developing countries is likely to hinder the growth of the surfactants market.
Some key companies that are present in the global agricultural Spray surfactants market are Evonik Industries, Croda International, BASF, DowDuPont, AkzoNobel, Clariant International, Solvay, Huntsman, Bayer CropScience, Stepan, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Solvay, and other players.
· North America (U.S., Canada, and Mexico)
· Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, U.K., and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, Australia, and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of South America)
· Middle East & Africa, (South Africa, Israel, and Rest of MEA)
Non-ionic surfactants are used often in agrochemical spray due to its lower foam profile, penetrate plant cuticles and less toxic to the plants as compared to other types. Non-ionic surfactants are composed of alcohol and fatty acids which are more compatible with most of the herbicides and other pesticides. Alkylphenol ethoxylates, alcohol ethoxylates, alkanolamides, and fatty amine ethoxylates are few types of non-ionic surfactants. Considering the concerns associated with Alkylphenol ethoxylates (such as biodegradability, bioaccumulation, formulation stability, and toxicity), industry players are offering other alternative surfactants for use with agrochemical spray products.
Synthetic agricultural spray surfactants are leading the market due to the high production rate as compared to bio-based surfactants. Synthetic surfactants which are currently available in the market are mostly petroleum based. Bio-based agricultural spray surfactants are manufactured from biological sources like vegetable oil, yeast, bacteria, etc. Bio-based surfactants are bio-degradable and eco-friendly by character, are expected to enhance global agricultural spray surfactant market.
The Americas region is major market for spray surfactant products due to the increasing trend of precision farming, large farm sizes, and technological advancements. The Asia Pacific region is also growing in the global surfactant market due to a surge in the use of crop protection chemicals.