The global biological seed treatment market size was USD 830.3 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 11.6 % from 2019 to 2025. Surging demand for chemical-free crops is expected to drive the growth of the industry over the forecast period. A shift in consumer trends toward improvement of personal health and consumption of healthy food is likely to fuel the product demand. In addition, rising elderly population is anticipated to stimulate the demand further.
There has been a significant increase in the utilization of the product in agricultural practices as it helps prevent seed-borne and soil-borne infections and diseases. The product started gaining importance over chemical treatment owing to a lesser risk of exceeding residue limits and increasing demand for sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, growing trend of organic farming is expected to directly impact the market penetration of the product.
According to the Office for National Statistics, U.K., the agriculture sector in the U.K. accounts for a share of about 0.7% of the total GDP. The product is composed of naturally occurring active ingredients, which offer protection against alleviating abiotic stress & soil-borne pathogens, thereby enhancing the plant growth.
Lack of awareness about sustainable agricultural practices in developing economies is likely to act as a major restraint for the market growth. Limited shelf life, especially of seeds, such as soybean, as compared to other treated crop seeds, is expected to negatively affect the product demand over the forecast period.
Biological treatment is key to sustainable agriculture as it reduces the need for fertilizer, improves immunity, and increases the nutrient absorption capacity & resistance to diseases and pest attacks. Reduced use of chemical fertilizers enhances the health of crops and enables them to quickly recover from abiotic stress such as drought and salinity.
Industry players have integrated their production and distribution channels for improved market accessibility. Key players in the market operate through their manufacturing plants located in close proximity to raw material source, which eventually leads to low cost of raw materials in terms of procurement. Moreover, companies involved in the production of biological seed treatment and its raw materials are engaged in the sales and distribution of the product via a large network of distributors spread across major consuming regions in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
Based on product, the market has been segmented into microbials (bacterial and fungi) and botanicals & others. The microbials segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% from 2019 to 2025. In microbial treatment, bacteria, such as Rhizobia, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, and Streptomyces, and fungi, such as mycorrhizae, Penicillium bilaii, and Trichoderma harzianum, are used to eradicate the pathogens and improve seed health. These are highly effective in protecting crops from drought, insects, pests, and plant diseases.
Bacteria found in the soil is beneficial to plants and many of them are biocontrol species, which are harmful to pathogens. Bacteria eradicate the pathogens and perform numerous beneficial functions that help in improving the physiological performance of a plant.
Some bacteria such as Rhizobacteria, perform nitrogen fixation, release antibiotics to kill pathogens, increase the availability of phosphorous, induce systematic resistance to plant pathogens, and are essential for the wellbeing of a plant. Bacteria, such as Streptomyces Bacillus and Pseudomonas, release soluble phosphorous and decrease dependency of crops on phosphate-based fertilizers.
In botanical treatment, seeds are treated with plant extracts to get rid of pathogens, reduce infection, and increase their germination rate. The method is usually preferred owing to the low cost and easy availability of plant extracts.
Seed protection segment held the largest market share, accounting for 67.3%, in terms of revenue, in 2018. Increased crop destruction due factors such as infected seeds and biotic and abiotic stress is expected to drive industry growth over the coming years. Furthermore, growing inclination of consumers toward organic food is anticipated to boost the popularity of biological protectants.
Seed enhancement segment is likely to witness considerable growth over the coming years. The growth is stimulated by the increasing usage of biological treatment, which improves seedling growth and germination. It involves the use of various techniques to amplify seed performance by increasing its ability to resist diseases and improve seed vigor, which, in turn, increases the harvest yield as well as the quality of crops.
Biofungicides are vital to seed coating as most of the pathogens are fungi. Several fungi cause seedling rot and black rot, which eventually reduce the germination rate and affect seedling vigor. Fusarium, Pythium, Phytophthora, and Rhizoctonia are the most common fungal pathogens. In order to overcome these fungal pathogens and ensure seed vitality, biofungicides are used for coating. Biofungicides containing active ingredients such as Bacillus pumilus, Gliocladium virens, Coniothyrium minitans, and Paecilomyces lilacinus are effective in controlling and eradicating fungal diseases.
Based on crop type, biological seed treatment market has been segmented into soybean, wheat, cotton, corn, sunflower, vegetable crops, and others. Among crop types, vegetable crops segment accounted for the highest revenue share of 25.9% in 2018 and it is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 12.0% from 2019 to 2025. Increasing use of biopesticides for treating vegetable seeds, rising inclination of consumers toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and rising demand for chemical-free food products are expected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period.
Wheat segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8%, in terms of revenue, from 2019 to 2025. Wheat seeds are susceptible to diseases such as seedling blight caused by Pythium and Fusarium (fungus) and pink seed disease caused by Erwinia rhapontici (bacteria). Biological treatment is essential to avoid infestation by these pathogens. In soybean, seedborne pathogens are one the crucial threats to the establishment of seedlings. Various seedborne diseases, such as stem blight, purple seed stain disease, and reduction in the rate of seed germination are caused by fungal pathogens such as Phomopsis, Cercospora, Fusarium, and Aspergillus. In order to protect seeds from these diseases, they are treated using Bacillus pumilus and Coniothyrium minitans.
On the basis of region, North America dominated the industry with a share of 40.6%, in terms of revenue, in 2018. The region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.8% from 2019 to 2025. The rising adoption of organic farming in countries such as the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is anticipated to drive the industry in the future. Canada and Mexico are the major exporters of grains all over the world. To yield a substantial amount of crop, farmers use biological seed treatment to protect the seeds and crops from pathogens, pests, and nematodes.
The North America organic agriculture market was valued at USD 47.89 billion in 2017. The organic food market witnessed an increase of 6% in the U.S. and 9% in Canada in the same year. More than 19,000 organic producers are present in North America out of which 14,000 alone are present in the U.S. and 4,800 in Canada. The number of organic producers has increased by 66% since 2004.
Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region and is expected to accelerate at a CAGR of 12.5% over the forecast period. The strong growth of agriculture sector in countries such as India, China, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka is expected to drive the product demand in the future. Furthermore, growing population and rising income are expected to continue to drive the demand for food and agriculture commodities.
Key leaders such as Bayer CropScience, BASF SE, Monsanto Company, Syngenta AG, and DowDuPont are involved in acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic collaborations to promote the benefits of biological seed treatment, enhance their research & development capabilities, and expand their businesses across the globe.
In March 2019, Italpollina acquired Horticultural Alliance, Inc., a U.S.-based horticulture company, specializing in the production of mycorrhizal inoculants and other beneficial bacteria for organic plant health maintenance. In April 2019, Syngenta AG collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to promote soil health, habitat protection, and the efficient use of resources in the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Kenya, and China. In December 2017, BASF expanded the capacity of its Saint-Aubin-les-Elbeuf, France, production facility.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Volume in Kilotons, Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, Poland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, China, Japan, India, Brazil
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research, Inc. has segmented the biological seed treatment market report on the basis of product, function, crop, and region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Botanicals & Others
Function Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Crop Type Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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