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Innovation of agriculture adjuvant: indispensable part of agrochemical marketqrcode

Nov. 12, 2014

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Nov. 12, 2014
Agriculture adjuvant is usually an inert-contained substance, which, if added to pesticide formulation, can change the surface tension between pesticide spray drops and plant leaf surface so as to achieve better wetting, distribution and penetration quality, resulting in an enhanced pesticide effect. 
Agriculture adjuvant is a part of agrochemicals, accounting for 4% - 5 % of the total market volume. The world agriculture adjuvant market volume reached $2.17 billion 2012, which is expected to still grow at an annual rate of 5.3%, up to the $3 billion in 2018. North America and Europe are the main market of agriculture adjuvant. The market share of agriculture adjuvant in North America reached 41% in 2012; Asia Pacific and Latin America market still remain to be explored, which offer a huge growth potential. 
From global perspective, agrochemicals have promoted the development of the industry. Agriculture adjuvant helps farmers to better use pesticide and to adjust the accelerant quantity in a cost-efficient manner as well as to provide more adapted and environment-friendly pest control measures, which plays a positive role in the transformation of agrochemicals. The determined dosage will facilitate a transformation from the past focus on prevention and high-dose applications toward low-dose and more adapted applications.
Agriculture adjuvant and agrochemicals supplement each other, where the higher consumption of agrochemicals will stimulate the growth of agriculture adjuvant market. Moreover the continued development of precision agriculture and the increased protection of cultivated land form a driving force to the growing agriculture adjuvant market. The decreased cultivated land, new technology applications and famer’s increased investment in agricultural materials for higher yield have all facilitated the fast growth of adjuvant demand. On the other side, environmental problems caused by pesticide applications and pesticide residues also forms an important driving force to the continued research and innovation of adjuvant.
The continued development of agriculture adjuvant unremittingly changes consumer’s perception. However due to the incomplete supervision system, higher price sensitivity and large research investment requirement, there are very few new companies stepping into the adjuvant business sector and therefore this business sector also appears to be dominated by a few industry giants.
To further explore the present status and future prospects of agriculture adjuvant, as well as to better understand the influence of the innovation on the renovation of agrochemical formulation product and on the global agriculture, AgroPages has the honor to invite 3 industry experts from prime adjuvant enterprises to share with us their respective views.
Could you first brief your main products and their advantages in the industry?
Benoit Abribat
Vice President of Novecare Agro, Solvay
Benoit: Solvay Novecare Agricultural Specialties strategy is to improve crop yields with our breakthrough innovative & sustainable solutions applied to plant protection products, fertilizers, seeds and soils. 
For crop protection applications, we have developed not only unique new coformulants (surfactants, green solvents) which improved the overall performance and stability of the formulation (Soprophor®, Rhodiasolv®) but also new tank mix anti-drift adjuvants (StarGuar®) for a better targeting.
Davide: Lamberti is involved in the agro market with the development, production and tailoring of inerts and adjuvants based on 3 main technologies: oleochemicals, natural and synthetic Polymers. Dispersing agents for SC-FS, rheology modifiers, emulsifiers, built in and tank mix adjuvants are the main applications of the products we offer to the market. Recently we have introduced a new family of very efficient dispersing agents which allows achieving higher load and multi-actives Suspension Concentrates.
André: Oxiteno is oriented to create solutions based on our customer needs and we can count a broad portfolio of surfactants specialty ingredients to perform according to the demands in stability, bio-efficacy and other important attributes required in agrochemicals products.
How do you cooperate with the agchem companies in the pesticide formulations and related adjuvant R&D?
Benoit: Agchem companies are our direct customers and partners. In order to speak the same technical language and understand local needs, Solvay Novecare Agrochemicals has a global presence with ten application laboratories able to formulate active ingredients “ai’s” (solid and liquid formulation types) directly connected to the customer formulation team. In some cases, our formulation experts work on customer ai’s and deliver the unique ready-to-use solutions based on loading and specifications set by our customers. 
Davide Secchi
Technical Director of Life Science Division, Lamberti
Davide: Lamberti’s service model is setup with central and regional formulation laboratories which work very closely with our customers to develop new formulations and solutions. We are working on joint development projects as well, involving the design of new compounds to satisfy customers’ needs. 
André: We keep a specialized R&D team working in close cooperation with our customers to develop technologies and support all development work. This partnership model is very well structured and an essential part of our position in the market. 
There have been some changes in the application of crop protection products in recent years. What do you think are the main reasons for the changes? Environment protection, government policy or pesticide resistance?
Benoit: Main reasons for the changes come from a multiple factors: grower training, pesticide resistance, seed traits and GMO, local regulations and buffer zone, optimization of the spray volume, agriculture equipment…
Davide: The attention on Sustainability and Safety Issues has obliged governments to look at more stringent regulations and to have a better knowledge of the impact the chemicals used will eventually have.
André: All of these reasons are very important. The technology is clearly evolving in both new active ingredients and smart ways of formulating these materials, in this sense Oxiteno has pursued a leading position in new formulation technologies.
How do you think these application changes would affect the direction of formulations and adjuvant R&D?
Benoit: Formulations should be safer, higher loading, contain several ai’s, and demonstrate better compatibility with other pesticides or fertilizers/micronutrients.
Davide: Elimination of dangerous formulations technologies such as EC or WP; higher loads; synergies between actives will drive the direction of new crop protection formulations. Sustainability, optimization of sprays, water management will be, in our vision, the key points for developing new adjuvants.
André Conde
Head of R&D, Agrochemicals, Oxiteno
André: The formulation and adjuvant R&D need to be very close and linked to market needs, the chances of achieving improved performance increases as we collect expertise in different fields and take advantage of new technologies to improve aspects ranging from formulation quality to the field productivity, reduced toxicity and facilitated application.
How do you think the potential growth of the agriculture adjuvants? What’s the growth plan of your company?
Benoit: Right on target is a global demand and in this context, AgChem, distributors and growers understand better and better the value of the adjuvant products. The AgChem companies focus their efforts on built-in adjuvants or to switch over whenever possible formulation types to Oil Dispersion (OD’s). When it is not possible to incorporate the adjuvant into the PPP, tank mix derivatives are required. 
Growth plan for Solvay is based on those needs. We have recently launched Geronol® Odeyssa, a set of solutions ready to use for our customers to formulate stable Oil Dispersion. Regarding the tank mix segment, we have demonstrated over the last two seasons the superiority of the multi-attribute anti-drift StarGuar® technology. The combination of anti-drift, anti-rebound and sticker polymers with the presence of bio-activators gives a unique formulation with unique properties as tank mix adjuvant for herbicides and fungicides. 
Davide: Lamberti believes the adjuvants market will continue to require more specialized chemistry and therefore is investing quite extensively to develop new solutions by using   its core technologies (Natural and Synthetic Polymers, Oleo derivatives) and synergies. Moreover with our strong cross regional presence we will tailor solutions to the specific needs of the different regions.
André: Oxiteno is fully committed to agricultural market, our goals and growth are deeply linked to agrochemicals growth and technology evolution, our strategy is in investing in technology and quickly connect this know how to our customers challenges in agrochemical solutions for the crops. 
Source: AgroNews


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