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Bigger Future For Biologicals

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Is the wind in the sails of biological products? Two industry pros say yes.

Keith Jones, Executive Director of the Biological Products Industry Alliance, says the organization was formed in 2003 with five members and today that has grown to more than 137 member companies and represent biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers.

DunhamTrimmer, a consulting group exclusively focused on biopesticides, biostimulants and biofertilizers, estimates biologicals had $2 billion in sales in 2012 and that jumped to $7 billion in 2021.

Mark Trimmer Managing Partner at DunhamTrimmer says biologicals are projected to have a growth rate that’s two to three times faster than the traditional crop protection market.  

Per DunhamTrimmer projections, biocontrols and biostimulants will have global sales of more than $15 billion by 2027. Today’s biofertilizer market is $1.2 to $1.5 billion, and the team expects great growth in the segment but hasn’t released a final projection for growth.

Specific to row crops, biologicals have a 11% share of use in 2020, which is projected to rise to a 16% share in 2030. Annual sales of biological products for row crop use was estimated to be $400 million in 2020 but will grow $1.9 billion in 2030.

Trimmer provides this analysis in what’s driving growth so far, and what’s driving innovation for the next-generation of biological products.
The key drivers for growth in biologicals can be summarized as four trends:

Most significantly, consumer demand for reducing pesticide residues especially in fresh market fruits and vegetables.

Favorable policies in the U.S., European Union and other parts of the world

Benefits to growers with pest resistance management aspects

As consumers look for year-round production of fruits and vegetables, biostimulants can help crops tolerate stresses that occur when growing in all times of the year.  

There are also four innovation areas that are propelling new products in this space:

Microbials are an area for fast growth, and a components that effects all three categories of biologicals.

Most relevant for biostimulants and biocontrols, many companies are investing in peptide based technologies

Disruptive advancements with pheromones will reduce the cost of product development and open up new crop use opportunities for biocontrols.

As a category, biofertilizers is experiencing a lot of activity and innovation.

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