The greatest prospects for seed treatment lie in maximizing the plants generic potential through bespoke solutions, which need a combination of crop protection, innovation and crop solution techniques. Of these, the first encompasses conventional techniques of foliar and seed disinfection, the second involves existing techniques for enhancing seed vitality through innovative application technologies and the third covers crop management through using innovative technology for genetics/traits. The global seed treatment market was worth around $4.98 billion in 2016 and is expected to cross $7.58 billion by 2021 growing at the CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period 2016-2021.

The market for seed treatment gains in significance due to a number of factors like rise in seed cost, volatility in weather along with price and greater use of multicomponent products are driving the seed treatment market. Greater pressure from regulatory requirements is one of the major factor attributed to drive the market. Primary requirements of seed treatment include capability of offering good protection during the germination period, supporting early plant development and enhancing stress tolerance at an early stage. These can be achieved by improving the quality of seed treatment products that offer ease of application at low rates.

The factors affecting the market are imbalance between the cost & effectiveness, concern for environment and limited shelf life. Due to awareness of health benefits, the biological seed treatments are creating an opportunity for seed treatment market. Asia-Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing market during forecast period.

The global market for seed treatment comprises chemical agents, including insecticides, fungicides and other chemicals and non-chemical agents, of which chemical agents form the most dominant application segment. Among non-chemical seed treatment, Biological seed treatment agents include applications that are derived from renewable resources and contain natural active ingredients. These seed treatment agents have no adverse impact on the environment, workers and consumers in comparison to chemical agents, as a consequence of it demand for them to witness the fastest growth during forecast period.

Worldwide, chemical agents dominate the market for seed treatments, cornering an estimated share of 93.8% in 2015, with demand for the same projected to reach US$7.58 billion by 2021 at a CAGR of 8.9% between 2016 and 2021. Within this application category, insecticides constitute the largest sub-category, with an estimated 2015 share of 50.5% of overall seed treatment demand. However, fungicide seed treatments are slated to witness the fastest CAGR of 9.5% during 2016-2021 in reaching a projected demand of US$2.63 billion by 2021. The global market for non-chemical seed treatment agents is slated to outpace chemical agents by posting a robust CAGR of 10% over the similar period to reach a projected US$508.2 million by 2021.

By region, North America dominates the global seed treatment market, with a share estimated to be 48.2% in 2015, though Asia-Pacific’s demand for these compounds is likely to emerge as the fastest growing with a compounded annual rate of 10.6% during 2016-2021.

Corn/maize is the most widely crop seed to be treated with these compounds, accounting for an estimated share of 31% in 2015. In terms of growth, however, the market for seed treatment for soybeans is likely to be the fastest in compounding annually at 9.5% between 2016 and 2021.

Syngenta, Bayer CropScience and BASF are the top three players in the global seed treatment market, with all of them having an extensive portfolio of agricultural products and solutions. While BioWorks Inc, Advanced Biological Marketing Inc and Valent USA Corp are comparatively smaller players, they offer the potential of becoming big game changers in the area of seed treatment in future. Each company has adopted an individual approach in terms of strategy for future growth. A few have focused on horizontal growth by expanding their presence in emerging markets that offer greatest scope for future prospects, while yet others have been content to operate within their established boundaries and go in for vertical growth by concentrating on innovations in the area of products and solutions.