The Total Addressable Market (TAM) for soybean fungicide seed treatment was valued at USD 126.26 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 222.84 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.30% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Treatment of soybean seeds entails using chemical or natural substances to enhance grain quality and offer protection. In treating soybean seeds, environmentally friendly insecticides and fungicides are frequently used to keep rodents and pathogens from harming the crop. Different concentrations of these pesticides and fungicides are applied depending on the crop or soil needs. The treatment procedure includes several steps: coating, priming, phytosanitary treatment, pelleting, and microbial inoculation. The seeds are also exposed to sunlight and submerged in nutrient-rich water.
Rising Innovations in the Crop Protection Industry
To produce seeds free of pests and diseases and maximize output and profitability in response to the expanding global food demand, soybean farmers use various seed treatment techniques, including fungicides. Increased productivity is required due to the prevalence of fungal infections in soybeans, which has created new market prospects. Major manufacturers are taking steps by offering cutting-edge seed treatment products in response to the increased emphasis on the quality of seeds. Three novel seed treatment solutions, including the biological fungicide seed treatment Vault IP Plus seed treatment, were introduced by BASF.
The Vault IP Plus seed treatment's dual bio fungicide component offers efficient defense against soil-borne ailments like Fusarium and Rhizoctonia, two of the primary fungi that cause root rot. Due to the product's modest application rate, additional seed treatments can be incorporated. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered each item. Therefore, one of the critical elements advancing the development of seed treatment products by significant businesses has been their ongoing focus on doing so. It is expected that throughout the forecast period, the global market for soybean fungicide seed treatment will expand.
Lack of Awareness among Farmers
The low adoption rates of seed treatment chemicals, especially in the markets of developing countries, are primarily due to a lack of general farmer awareness of the advantages of seed treatment chemicals, such as their affordability, environmental friendliness, and development of new seed treatment chemicals and technology that increase crop productivity. There is little market penetration for seed treatments in developing nations like India. This limited penetration may be related to small-scale farmers' ignorance of the advantages of treated seeds. As a result, initiatives are being organized by the government and commercial organizations to inform farmers about the value of treated seeds. Seed treatment protects against diseases transmitted through the soil and the seed and sucking insect pests that can stunt a crop's early development. However, many Indian farmers are not familiar with nor adhere to the practice.
Rising Demand for the Biological Seed Treatment
The demand for biological seed treatment is increasing due to growing environmental concerns, particularly in many developed nations, supporting market expansion throughout the forecast period. More chemical companies are now providing biological seed treatments to meet consumer demand. Significant companies are offering growers in the United States soybean seeds treated with a mix of biologicals and chemicals. For instance, pioneer soybean seed products produced in North America are given biological seed treatments to increase stand, plant vigor, and yield. To positively affect plants, biological seed treatments include active components such as living microbes, fermentation byproducts, plant extracts, phytohormones, and even complex chemistry. The need for biological seed treatments is rising due to their capacity to maximize plant growth, reduce stress, and increase overall output by maximizing the plant's genetic potential.
The global soybean fungicide seed treatment market is segmented by application.
Based on application, the global soybean fungicide seed treatment market is bifurcated into chemical, non-chemical/biological.
The chemical segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.00% during the forecast period. The popularity of chemical fungicide seed treatment is due to its simplicity compared to biological techniques. Chemical fungicide treatment is also less expensive. However, the growth of this market needed to be improved by severe limits on chemical residues in crops and tighter rules on the use of pesticides on crops and seeds. Only the seed surface is effective when fungicides employed as protectants (contacts) are present. Systemic fungicides are taken by sprouting seedlings, preventing or eradicating the fungus within the host plant's tissues. The residual activity of contact fungicides is often shorter than systemic fungicides. Contact fungicides treat soybean seeds: Captan, Fludioxonil, PCNB, and Thiram. For the treatment of soybean seeds, systemic fungicides such as Azoxystrobin, Caroboxin, Mefenoxam, Metalaxyl, Trifloxystrobin, and Thiabendazole are employed. More farmers are selecting chemically treated seeds due to rising crop losses and the advantages of seed treatment. As a result, the market's top players participate in mergers, product launches, and acquisitions. For instance, Syngenta introduced the chemical VAYANTIS, effective against significant blight and damping off diseases, as a seed treatment for corn and soybeans. Therefore, it is projected that the market for chemical seed treatment will expand throughout the forecast period due to the rising crop losses and the active engagement of significant companies.
Recent years have seen an increase in environmental concerns surrounding the usage of chemical seed treatment agents. As a result, there has been a significant demand for biological seed treatment agents during the past few years. They offer therapeutic choices on par with or better than chemical agents while being free of hazardous chemicals. As a result, despite being a niche market, it is expanding quickly. This factor is causing a rise in the use of biological seed treatment techniques. The most severe effect is when a disease infests seeds, turning high-value crops like soybeans into low-value stock. High-value seeds, soil, and the ecosystem can all be protected with a biological seed treatment. Some of the natural ways of a seed treatment that are most widely used include microbial treatments that contain agents like fungi of the Trichoderma and Ectomycorrhiza species.
Additionally, growing amounts of money are being spent on research and developing agricultural biological seed treatment products by small, medium, and large businesses. By serving the demands of both agriculture and society, this area is becoming more and more significant and has substantial market potential. The demand has been rising in developing nations like India and established nations. Biological seed treatments help farmers enhance their yield by defending the crops from insect pests while protecting the expensive GM seeds. Therefore, it is projected that the biological seed treatment will expand quicker throughout the projection period due to rising environmental awareness and several product releases by significant companies.
The global soybean fungicide seed treatment market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
North America is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. In the US, soybean producers commonly experience economic yield losses due to seedling infections. Pythium and Phytophthora root rot are the most common fungi that attack young soybean seedlings. Fungal and fungal-like species like Rhizoctonia and Fusarium are also examples. The increased need for seed treatment solutions in the country is mainly attributable to the epidemic of fungal illnesses. In addition, the rapid increase in crop consumption has increased the need for the seed treatment market in the United States. The country's seed treatment market is expanding due to early soybean planting. Early seed planting in excellent, damp soils frequently exposes seeds and seedlings to various insects, diseases, and pests. In order to guard against these illnesses and insect pests and to boost crop output, seeds are treated. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) controls the application of chemical pesticides on crops and food items. In recent years, many big players registered their products with EPA. The market expansion in the nation is anticipated to be further stimulated by the rising registration of seed treatment items. Canadian farmers have raised soybeans for almost 70 years.
Plant breeding innovations have recently increased output. Regarding acreage, soybeans currently occupy the fourth spot among Canada's major crops. In Quebec, Manitoba, some of the Maritime provinces, Southeast Saskatchewan, and Southern Alberta, soybeans have grown to be a significant crop. Soybean diseases decrease the production and quality of grains and seeds. Necessary conditions fluctuate yearly and from place to place. Environmental factors and crop production techniques are just two of the many variables that can affect the prevalence of soybean diseases that reduce output. The quantity and quality of grain farmed for food, feed, and fuel production decreases due to yield losses caused by soybean diseases, making them crucial. International and regional companies are introducing different products to safeguard soybean crops. The domestic market is dominated by companies like Bayer Crop Science AG, Syngenta, Pioneer, and BASF. For instance, Veltyma Fungicide was developed by BASF SE and was recently registered for use in Canada's soybean farming in 2022.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6 during the forecast period. In China, the production of soybeans is typically quite sensitive to fungi that cause diseases, including root rot and wilt. The country's fungicide seed treatment market is therefore driven by increased awareness of the quality and safety of the adverse effects of crop protection agents on the environment. The sensitivity of seed treatment fungicides to Pythium and Phytopythium sp. was investigated. Mefenoxam and metalaxyl, two fungicides used in seed treatment, were shown to be more effective by researchers than metalaxyl. Enormous opportunities exist for firms to introduce goods using mefenoxam. Despite this, just a few businesses have introduced the product and made it accessible to Chinese consumers.
Soybean farming in Japan heavily relies on seed treatment since soybean plants grown in fields are prone to phytophthora root and stem rot that spreads as a result of environmental conditions. This increases the demand for seed treatment to mitigate negative impacts. The amount of land harvested for soy has been dropping, per the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, because of rising domestic demand, the nation imports enormous quantities of soybean, primarily from Brazil, the United States, and Canada. This might make it more difficult for the country to sell fungicide seed treatment goods. One of the primary obstacles in India that have contributed to poor germination over the past few years is a need for more understanding and awareness regarding seed treatment. However, the extension centers and KVKs (Krishi Vigyan Kendras) run by the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) firm are heavily focused on offering a wide range of services, including training and educating farmers about the importance of treating seeds before sowing. Over 3,000 farmers were given access to SMS services thanks to it. This positively impacts the market.
One of Europe's leading markets for biologicals is Spain. Biological control is replacing chemical pesticides in farming because it is more effective and environmentally friendly. Consumers are closely examining the safety and quality of food goods as they have grown more conscious of what they use. Spain is one of the largest producers and exporters of soybeans in the European Union, sending seeds that have undergone biological treatment to its neighbors. This has increased customer demand for bio-based products. As a result, it has been noted that there is an increase in demand for biological seed treatments and eco-friendly seeds in the nation. Due to the increased demand for biological seed treatment products, a select few major market participants are concentrating on creating biological seed treatments. To increase self-sufficiency and progressively lessen reliance on imports, the United Kingdom wants to encourage the production of protein plants.
A growing portion of the supply of sustainable protein may come from soy. Numerous European nations, including Austria, Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, and several CEE nations, already grow soy. The United Kingdom must import soybean from its neighbors to meet domestic demand. The primary benefit of the seed treatment procedure is seed protection. Seed treatments offer customized products that are safe for people, the environment, and seeds. In the initial weeks of emergence and seedling growth in soybean plants, these advances aid in maximizing the protection of the seed and the growing seedling during planting. As a result, the development of the market under study in the nation is being driven by the increasing pathogen infestation on soybean crops, the desire for greater yield, and technological advancements by major players using seed treatment techniques.
Argentina is the second-largest producer of soybeans in South America. With a total area of around 25 million hectares used for producing transgenic soybean, maize, and cotton crops as of 2017, the nation is also one of the top users of GM crops. Due to the need for large-scale seed treatment due to the country's substantial use of GM seed, demand has increased. As a result, improved seed protection is needed to produce GM seeds. The soybean industry in the nation is mainly focused on exporting. 80% of soybeans are crushed and sold as meal or oil, while just 20% are shipped as whole beans. Most soybean meals and oil are exported, with only a minor portion (7% of total supplies) going to regional feed businesses. Better production is required because most of the nation's output is exported. As a result, farmers concerned with productivity use treated soybean seeds. During the predicted period, growth in this is also anticipated. Some major South American nations include Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. One of the most damaging soybean diseases, including in south American nations, is Phytophthora root and stem rot (PRR). One of the main crops in nations like Uruguay, Chile, and Colombia is soybean.
Furthermore, a lot of hybrid soybean seeds are used. In these nations, there is a considerable demand for seed treatment solutions because more than 90% of hybrid seeds are treated. During the predicted period, growth in this is also anticipated.
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