Starter fertilizers are chemical materials that are incorporated into soil to support early growth of the plants. These are applied in small quantities close to the seed, such that the seedling get access to essential nutrients right after germination and even before the growth of root system. The pivotal role of nutrients, particularly phosphorous in root development has increased the need for starter food in most of the crop types across the globe. Although phosphorous is the primary nutrient of interest in starter fertilizers, these formulations also contain low rate of nitrogen, potassium and few micronutrients. Starter fertilizers are available in various compositions of primary nutrients. The selection of proper composition depends on factors such as soil texture, soil moisture, temperature, crop type, and several other factors.
The starter fertilizers market valued USD XX billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of around 4 % during the forecast period (2019-2026).
The lowering levels of plant-absorbable phosphorous in topical soil across the globe is the key factor driving the growth of starter fertilizers market. Phosphorus plays an important role in the early root development and overall yield of the crop. However, identification of phosphorous deficiency is relatively difficult than diagnosing deficiency of other nutrients and it is visible only in juvenile stages of plants. Thus, the need for utilization of phosphorous rich starter fertilizers has increased. The growing demand for crop nutrition and awareness towards the role of nutrients in early plant growth is another factor driving the growth of starter fertilizers market. Farmers and growing communities across the globe are shifting towards protected and precise farming to meet the growing food demand through limited arable land. Focus is laid on promoting plant growth from early plant stages and starter fertilizers evolved as a key material in this aspect. Development of novel formulations that can precisely balance nutrition requirements of seedlings is also supporting the utilization of starter fertilizers. However, the adverse effects of synthetic starter fertilizers on environment and complexities in selection of proper compositions are the major restraints for the growth of the market. Improper use of these chemicals and wrong selection of nutrient composition may result in uncontrolled growth of the plants. The development of organic starter fertilizers and high performance micronutrient blends is likely to provide immense growth potential to the market
Phosphorous starter fertilizers has been witnessing significant utilization across wide array of crops including cereals, grains, and turfgrass. The immobile nature of phosphorous in soil makes it difficult for the undeveloped roots to reach phosphorous reserves, thus increasing the need for use of phosphorous supplementation. The growing area under turf grass and forage production is boosting the growth of phosphorous starter fertilizers. Nitrogen starter fertilizers and micronutrient blended starter fertilizers are also holding significant share on the starter fertilizers market. The market has been segmented by type into synthetic and organic. Organic starter fertilizers that are derived from cow dung manure, earthworms, and other natural sources are likely to witness lucrative growth in near future. These products evolved as an ideal choice for use in house yards, lawns, golf courses, indoor farms, and other urban practices.
By geography, the starter fertilizers market is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific evolved as the largest market for starter fertilizers owing to the demand for crop nutrition practices in countries such as China and India. Growing practice of precision farming to enhance quality and quantity of produce is boosting the need for starter fertilizers in this region.
The starter fertilizers market is fragmented in nature with the presence of many formulators. The market is highly competitive in terms of product price and new product developments. Increasing prices of fertilizer components such as potash and phosphate is resulting in price hike of starter fertilizers. This is further intensifying the market competition. However, agrochemical companies such as Yara International ASA, The Monsanto Company, CHS Inc., and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company are enjoying brand reputation for their starter fertilizer products, thus gaining a competitive advantage. Other key players in the market are KeyPlex, Helena Agri Enterprises LLC, Miller Seed Company, Nachurs Alpine Solutions, Kugler, and Kellogg Garden Products.
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