The scope of this report includes tank-mix adjuvants and built-in adjuvant systems. The framework covers utility adjuvants and additives with functions relating to the period during the spraying operation before target contact; and activator adjuvants, which act after contact with the target to improve efficacy. Adjuvants are designed to achieve biological, chemical or physical effects to improve the efficiency of crop protection operations and end-results. Tank-mix adjuvants give both the manufacturer of crop protection products, and farmers and growers the flexibility to optimise the cost-efficiency of spraying. Developments in formulation chemistry and in the biological understanding of adjuvancy have led to the development of many sophisticated crop protection products marketed as having ‘built-in adjuvant systems’.
Although the values of adjuvant markets, especially in the context of this report, are not readily definable, important perspectives are given by the size of the herbicide market within which adjuvants are mainly used; the value of the market for glyphosate; and that of the crop protection market in North America.
The future market for adjuvants will be strongly impacted by the drive for product differentiation; regulatory requirements including the need to mitigate against spray drift; continuing use of glyphosate and resort to selective herbicides to combat weed resistance; growth in Latin American markets, and in fungicide and insecticide markets.
The regulatory processes for adjuvants in Europe and the US are described.
There are a number of organisations and associations relevant to the adjuvant sector and these are listed and profiled.