The purpose of seed treatment is to disinfect seeds from pathogenic organisms, which could be seed-borne or soil-borne, and storage insects. A host of processes are deployed to treat seeds, including the application of fungicides or insecticides, exposing seeds to solar energy, immersing them in conditioned water, etc. A properly carried out seed treatment process helps prevent the spread of plant diseases, protects seeds from rot, seedling blights, and storage insects, and improves germination.
The Global Seed Treatment Market is estimated to have grown to a size of nearly US$7 Billion in 2022 from approximately US$5 Billion in 2017. The market is expected to grow further to a size of around US$11 Billion by 2028 at a CAGR of nearly 8% for the forecasted period of 2022-2028.
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- Seed Treatment adoption rate is expected to grow steadily in the forecasted period as it offers low-cost protection against diseases and soil-borne organisms and protects weak seeds, resulting in improved germination. According to the Agriculture industry publication Agriculture.com, a soybean fungicide/ insecticide treatment may cost anywhere between US$10 and US$12 per 140,000 seed unit. Soybean seeding rates usually vary between 80,000 and 140,000 seeds per acre. When it comes to the effectiveness of such treatments, a 2019 compilation of studies, conducted by agronomists and entomologists from 14 land-grant universities, discovered an improvement of 2 bushels per acre in soybean farming when neonicotinoid IST was combined with a fungicide seed treatment. The best result found in the study was that of a surge of 3.3 bushels per acre.
- Another major factor, driving the agriculture industry to adopt Seed Treatment measures, is its capacity to empower seeds to fight against unfavorable weather conditions. Such unfavorable weather conditions might result in cold and damp soils or extremely dry soils that encourage the breeding, growth, and development of fungi spores. For instance, in the United States, in 2010 and 2012, high nighttime temperatures had an immensely negative impact on corn yields. Similarly, premature budding caused by a warm winter resulted in losses worth US$220 million of cherries in Michigan in 2012.
- Ingredients used in Seed Treatment products are harmful to humans, animals, and also to seeds in some cases. Treated seeds that go unsold can not be used as animal feed. The limiting peripheral or ancillary use of these treated seeds often hampers the scalability of the market. Treating the seeds at the correct dosage rate is also critical to the treatment’s success. For instance, seeds with high moisture percentage can get easily damaged when treated with concentrated liquid products.
- In the initial days of the pandemic, the Global Seed Treatment Market suffered supply chain disruptions stemming from restricted movements of vehicles, closed markets, and a limited supply of raw materials. However, soon after the initial days were over, the manufacturing of seed treatment agrochemicals resumed under the category of essential goods production in many countries. The rise in consciousness around health and efficient farming techniques also boosted the demand for high-value seeds.
Key Trends by Market Segment
By Type: According to Ken Research’s analysis, the majority of the seed treatment procedures are carried out through the Chemical route.
- Chemical treatment of seeds can be done by applying insecticides, fungicides, or nematicides, including fumigants, carbamates, etc. Non-chemical or biological seed protection processes involve bio-insecticides, bio-fungicides, and bio-nematicides.
- According to the observations put out by the Iowa State University, fungicide seed treatment can be beneficial for seeds with less than 80% germination rate. These types of seeds are typically considered to be of low vigor. Fungicides are also considered effective treatment tools when seeds are planted early in cold or wet soils and reduced till and no-till fields.
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By Treatment/Application Technique: The seed coating segment is estimated to occupy the largest market share in 2022 as far as treatment/application techniques are concerned.
- The techniques of seed dressing involve treating crop seeds with fungicides and/or insecticides so that they are well-equipped to fight out the fungal diseases and insects that attack from both below and above ground. The process of seed coating implies covering the seeds with manageable amounts of exogenous materials. Film coating or microbial coating are popular seed coating types. Finally, in the process of Seed Pelleting, inert materials are added to the seeds to increase their weight, size, or shape.
- Seed pelleting helps in planting crops that otherwise have irregularly shaped seeds. According to the data presented by the seed treatment company Seed Dynamics Incorporated, pelleting can increase the weight of seeds from anywhere between 1000% (10X) to 4,000% (40X). Usually, 88000 seeds of raw begonia weigh 1 gram. However, seed pelleting can increase the weight 100 times and take it to an average of 857 seeds per gram.
By Crop: The Cereal and Grains segment is expected to emerge as the largest crop segment as far as the application of seed treatment techniques is concerned.
- Production in the World Cereal Market, according to the data provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), almost 2,645 million tons of cereals were produced during the 2018-2019 period, and the production was estimated to cross the mark of 2,800 million tons in 2022.
- Similarly, production in the coarse grain market in the world was estimated to grow from a little more than 1,400 million tons to 1,500 million tons in 2022.
- Treating seeds help reduce loss in the production of cereal grains due to pests and diseases.
By Formulation: Although the liquid formulation segment is expected to account for the largest share in 2022, the dry formulation segment is estimated to witness faster growth during the forecasted period.
- There are several types of liquid formulations that agriculturists try out on a regular basis for a range of crop seed types. For instance, soaking paddy seeds in 1% Potassium Chloride solution for 12 hours helps improve the germination potential. A similar outcome is achieved when Sorghum seeds are soaked in Sodium Chloride and Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate solutions for 12 hours.
- Dry formulation seed treatments, on the other hand, help maintain the integrity of seed coatings. The growth in this segment is driven by the utilitarian benefits of the process: it is easy to apply and store and comes at a low cost.
- The effectiveness of these treatments, dry and/or wet, has been recorded by many agencies/organizations/institutions. For instance, data published by the Manitoba government showed that seed treatments helped prevent yield loss 22% of the time in soybean seeds. Studies conducted in North Dakota, on wheat seeds, over a period of 14 years, showed a 7.2% stand increase over an untreated check, 73% of the time. However, the effectiveness often varies depending on how the climate is. For instance, another research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon found that neonicotinoid seed treatments were more effective in dry soils than in wet soils, and at 20-30 degree centigrade than at 10 degrees.
By Function: The seed protection segment occupies the largest share of the seed treatment market when seen from the prism of functions. The seed enhancement segment mostly takes care of plant nutrition needs.
- Seed protection procedures can be chemical or non-chemical/biological. Seed enhancement procedures involve the application of biologicals, such as bio-fertilizers, bio-stimulants, plant growth regulators, seed priming, and seed disinfection procedures.
- Protection and enhancement techniques are often deployed together for improved results. A scientific study conducted in 2018 showed how the solid matrix seed priming technique can be effectively combined with seed coating procedures. The experiment was conducted on the Kaibab Plateau in Arizona. The process resulted in 66-82% faster emergence from primed-seed pods than the untreated seeds. Seedlings that stemmed out from the primed-seed pods had 2.9-3.8-times higher density than untreated seeds.
By Region: North America is estimated to continue with its dominance over the seed treatment market even in the forecasting period, majorly due to the large-scale adoption of biotech crops in countries like the United States and Canada.
- The United States has been one of the earliest adopters of Biotech crops. Biotech crops were introduced in 1996. Within the next seventeen years, by 2013, more than ninety percent of all cotton, soybeans, and corn planted in the United States was Biotech. More than 173 million acres were planted with biotech seeds in the United States by 2013.
- The adoption of biotech in farming, along with genetically modified crops, has also been high in the Asia Pacific region, turning it into one of the most high-potential markets for seed treatment.
Japan, for instance, is among one of the world’s largest per-capita importers of GM food and feed and has approved more than 300 GM products for food, including 141 varieties of crops. The Philippines has also exhibited remarkable progress in adopting seed treatment. It was the first country in Asia to have given commercial clearance to Rice that was treated with beta-carotene for enhanced nutritional value.
- The seed treatment market has also flourished in Europe and many LAMEA countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, to address the need for high-quality seeds, prevent anthrax diseases, combat the occasional attacks of the Yellow virus, et al.
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The Global Seed Treatment market has nearly 150 players, including globally diversified players, regional players, and country-niche players having their expertise in addressing region-specific needs to treat seeds in a way that is conducive to the local climate conditions.
Large global players constitute ~20% of the market in terms of the number of competitors, while regional players hold the second largest share. Some of the major players in the market include Adama Agricultural Solutions, Bayer AG, BASF, Syngenta AG, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Dow, Corteva, Inc., Croda International Plc., Nufarm, Novozymes, and more, among others.
The Global Seed Treatment Market Size, Segments, Outlook, and Revenue Forecast 2022-2028 is expected to continue growing on a steady and moderately-paced trajectory. The need for efficient farming is increasing worldwide. Farmers and agricultural farm owners are looking for ways to reduce the loss of yield, improve their seed’s germination potential, and protect seeds from the negative impacts of irregular climate, pests, insects, and diverse types of crop diseases. As of 2019, genetically modified crops occupied 190 million hectares of cultivable fields, indicating a growing inclination towards leveraging science and technology for the improvement of agricultural production. This inclination would serve as a tailwind for the Global Seed Treatment Market in the forecasted future.
Note: This is an upcoming/planned report, so the figures quoted here for market size estimate, forecast, growth, segment share and competitive landscape are based on initial findings and might vary slightly in the actual report. Also, any required customizations can be covered to the best feasible extent for Pre-booking clients and report delivered within maximum 2 working weeks.
By Treatment / Application Technique
- Seed Dressing
- Seed Coating
- Seed Pelleting
- Grains and Cereals
- Oilseeds and Pulses
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Other Crop Types (Forages, Alfalfa, Flower seeds, etc.)
- Liquid Formulation
- Dry Formulation
- Seed Protection
- Seed Enhancement
- North America (USA, Canada, Mexico)
- Europe (Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Australis)
- Latin America, Middle East, and Africa (LAMEA)
- Adama Agricultural Solutions
- Bayer AG
- Syngenta AG
- Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.
- Corteva, Inc.
- Croda International Plc.
- Novozymes A/S