The emerging technology of seed coatings with chemicals that are typically antimicrobial and fungicidal is disrupting the seed treatment market. This technology is cost-effective with the potential to boost cereal crop germination rates in water repellent soils. Recently, it has also been experienced that seed coating contains surfactant and fungicides that reduces the water tension and provides higher agronomic efficiency by improving the wetting of the seeds. Thus, seed coating plays an essential role in the timely supply and rapid multiplication of crop at a lower price. Additionally, the adoption of genetically modified and hybrid crops coupled with innovative farming technique stimulates the development of the demand for seed coatings in the seed treatment market. This growth is particularly seen in the regions, where the agriculture sector is the major contributor to the overall economy.
Thus, the global seed treatment market size assessed at $6.2 billion in 2018, and the demand for the same is poised to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period 2019-2025.
The global food demand by 2050 will require a 75% increase in global food production as compared to the current scenario. This responsibility of delivering more nutritious and high yield crops is influencing the further growth in the seed treatment market. In order to safeguard the seeds from harmful pathogens, seed treatment is done in horticulture as well as in agriculture. Furthermore, seed treatment products maximize the early growth of plants and seedling establishment that results in the increased forage yields. Also, this treatment is not harmful to beneficial organisms of agriculture, such as earthworms. Thus, the increasing need for seed treatment is driving the growth of the market globally.
Regional Analysis and Key Segment Analysis
North America is leading the global seed treatment market with a regional share of 38% in 2018. More than 210,000 cases were filed in the United States in 2018 related to the key issues impacting the seed industry. However, the association actively took an initiative to resolve most of the cases that were filed by the manufacturers and the farmers. This gave rise to the increasing demand for seed treatment among the farmers in the region. Furthermore, the United States is the engine that is driving the growth of the seed treatment market in North America. Owing to the greater adoption of technology in the agriculture sector, the country is escalating the demand for seed treatment methods. Similarly, the increasing demand for organic food products from the people in the region is expected to seek growth in the market.
As the demand for organic fruits and vegetables is climbing continuously, the farmers are seeking seed treatment as an innovative cultivation method in the agriculture sector. The organic seed treatment offers different portfolio such as pelleting, biologicals, seed disinfection, and priming. Currently, farmers have adopted these technologies as it maximizes the crop potential and is witnessing significant growth in the seed treatment market. The fastest-growing segment of the seed treatment market is the corn seeds. The demand for corn seed in the seed treatment market is growing at a CAGR of 9.10% during the forecast period. The seed treatment protects the corn seed seedlings from seed-borne pathogens, soil=borne and pesticides. Most of the commercial corn seeds that are available in the market are fungicide and insecticide-treated. Therefore, corn seed type is further driving the growth of the seed treatment market.
Government Initiatives towards Seed Treatment Market
The government agencies are encouraging the use of seed treatment as it contributes to the uniform stand establishment of a variety of crops produced. For instance, ASTA and China National Seed Association (CNSA) came together in 2017 to work under a joint Memorandum of Undertaking. The primary objective behind this JV is the implementation of a corn seed pilot project that will allow the U.S seed companies to export corn seeds directly to China for breeding and research. Therefore, this will bring the two largest corn-producing countries of the world together. ASTA in 2017 in collaboration with USDA started ReFreSH initiative that would help in the execution of international seed movement. This will recognize seed companies under QM seed production program providing consignment-by-consignment phytosanitary risk reduction practices. This step taken by the government ensure better seed treatment of the seeds. The initiative initially only focused on tomato seed which has now been implemented on other seeds. Thus, this will have a significant impact on the development of the seed treatment market.
Growth Drivers of the Seed Treatment Market
Increase in High-Quality Seeds Demand
The genetically modified (GM) and hybrid seeds are the high-quality seeds that have a huge demand in the seed treatment market. To protect the investments made on these quality seeds, is through seed treatment due to an increase in the issues related to fumigation and foliar application of pesticides. Seed treatment is considered as the most effective solution for the farmers as good quality seeds lead to better produce. Moreover, the GM seeds are fairly expensive as compared to the other seeds and are treated with chemicals and biological treatments, however, there is an increase in the cultivation of GM crops, which is subsequently affecting the growth of the seed treatment market.
Growing Awareness Regarding Health in Consumers
The growing concerns regarding health amongst consumers are driving the demand for organic fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the increasing need to improve crop yielding requires advanced seed treatment machines. With the continuous development in the technology, the farmers are adopting novel seed treatment method, which in turn is boosting the seed treatment market. Moreover, new seed treatment procedures also help in maintaining the quality of soil and seed-borne infections and diseases. Thus, this procedure helps in improving the overall productivity of the crop and reducing seed germination time. Therefore, these factors are contributing to the growth of the seed treatment market.
The Major Players in Seed Treatment Market
The key players in the seed treatment market are Incotec (Netherlands), Nufarm (Australia), UPL (India), and Germains (UK), Sumitomo Chemical (Japan), Arysta LifeScience (US), BASF (Germany), Dow AgroSciences (US), DuPont (US), FMC (US), Syngenta (Switzerland), Bayer AG, and The Monsanto Company. These companies have been continuously focusing on R&D investments, partnerships, JVs, and acquisitions to strengthen their portfolio of products.