Seed Treatment Market Continues to Grow
“While seed can be treated on the farm by the farmer, it’s not easy to get good distribution on the seed. Farmers in developed and developing countries alike are recognizing the value of getting new seed each year and seed companies supplying that seed are realizing the value of treating their supplies so that the farmer increases his/her chance of getting a better stand and crop yield,” said Duncan Allison, senior associate at Kline’s Specialty Pesticides Practice, after releasing its report, “Seed Treatment Global Series: Market Analysis and Opportunities.”
The United States remains the leading seed treatment market, claiming over 38 percent of global market share; however, China and Brazil in particular have eroded this lead over the last five years. Brazil now accounts for nearly 21 percent market share. Of the 10 leading crops encompassed by the report, corn/maize accounts for well over one-third of 2011 seed treatment sales, followed by wheat at just under one-fourth.
Renewable Fuel Takes Off
Ethanol production in Canada in 2012 is estimated to increase 40 percent from 2011 levels, and biodiesel production is estimated to increase nearly 80 percent, according to a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service GAIN report. Ethanol production will increase to an expected 1,867 million liters, up nearly 40 percent from estimated 2011 levels. Production is forecast to grow further to 1,948 million liters in 2013.
New Challenges Emerge
“I believe many of the challenges are still very much valid as they were several years ago, such as intellectual property and phytosanitary issues, but several new challenges have been added. One of those is the overall increase in the speed of plant breeding and trade. Combined with better informed farmers, who switch varieties more quickly, this has led to an overall shortening of the life cycle of varieties, and this puts pressure on the profit margins of companies. Another relatively new challenge is adventitious or low level presence. Companies are now spending a lot of money on checking if their seed lots are free of the incidental presence of other varieties, and this has put a strain on the budgets of some companies. Some regions and countries have started to set thresholds, but if we do that, we have to make sure we don’t place such thresholds too low otherwise the costs go up exponentially and we’ll be seeing companies go out of business.”—Marcel Bruins, secretary general, International Seed Federation