US demand to approach $10 billion in 2016
US demand for formulated pesticide products is expected to approach $10 billion in 2016 as the markets address increasingly resistant pest populations and growing concerns about pesticide safety. In response to these problems, technical grade pesticide active ingredient usage is projected to reach 960 million pounds.
Environmentally friendly practices to change market
Both insecticides and herbicides will be affected by industry-wide changes influenced by integrated pest management, biopesticides, and other environmentally friendly techniques. Biopesticides are expected to show strong growth, particularly in the consumer market as home gardening enthusiasts turn to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and other biopesticide products. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques are causing users in all markets to alter their pesticide use, choosing to use non-chemical alternatives whenever possible.
Glyphosate resistance to continue driving herbicides
Herbicides are the most widely used type of pesticide in the United States, but in recent years they have been dominated by a single active ingredient: glyphosate. Glyphosate-tolerant soybean and corn acreage expanded significantly over the past decade, with growers becoming more dependent on the nonselective herbicide that destroys weeds but leaves crops intact. However, with glyphosate resistance in weeds becoming a bigger problem, growers are looking for new solutions in older products, such as 2,4- D, atrazine, and dicamba. Demand for these older herbicides will increase as users turn to formulations with more than one active ingredient and multiple modes of action. Additionally, producers are developing and releasing new seed varieties that have resistance to more than one herbicide; these new seeds can be used with proprietary formulations tailored to be effective for certain crops in specific environments.
Insecticides affected by environmental concerns
Insecticides are a mature and slow growing product class. In agriculture, they are largely used on an as-needed basis, given that insect populations are largely influenced by weather conditions. The consumer and commercial markets are more significant for insecticides than for herbicides, based on demand for ready-to-use consumer insecticides and professional pest extermination services. Insecticides are also associated with more concerns related to environmental safety and public health. Negative publicity can have a significant impact on some types of insecticides. For example, organophosphate demand continues to drop due to concerns over potential adverse effects. In addition, neonicotinoid insecticides, one of the leading replacements for organophosphates, may have been implicated in the increase of honeybee colony collapse. Demand for insecticides will continue to be impacted by changing insect management practices, amid environmental and human health concerns.
The US pesticide industry continues to evolve as imports from China and other countries become more important. Chinese producers have become bigger players in the US market as their generic active ingredients are often less expensive than domestic active ingredients. Additionally, Chinese producers have been shifting their focus to formulated products, making them a more significant part of the US pesticide industry.