As Precision Farming Gains Traction, Market for Controlled Release Fertilizers Set for Explosive Growth

Currently, the controlled release fertilizer market in North America is valued at $570.1 million. With a compounded annual growth rate of 7.91%, it is expected that the value of this market will have reached $900.4 million by 2030. This is according to the recent Market Share Analysis report on the controlled release fertilizer market in North America. The study period runs from 2016, with forecasts through 2030.

The largest segment under this market by type of coating is polymer-coated fertilizers, which supply the important secondary and primary nutrients to the crops. This eliminates the need to apply the fertilizer multiple times.

The biggest segment by type is CRF urea, which works by releasing nitrogen gradually. This fertilizer prevents nitrogen mineralization, which degrades the quality of the soil.

Based on country, the United States makes up almost 70% of the agricultural crop total area. The U.S. is among the major fertilizer producers in North America. During the study period, this particular fertilizer market grew by almost 71%. This can mainly be attributed to the wide practice of precision farming across the country.

A crucial component of this particular faming concept is using the right nutrient dosage for crops at the optimal time. This makes controlled-release fertilizers very important.

With regard to type of crop, field crops make up the larger share of the fertilizers market in North America (82.4%), primarily because of the large cultivation area in the region. The remaining share of the market is comprised of turfs and ornamentals.

Coated controlled-release fertilizers are especially used in valued crops such as vegetables, grains and cereals. These fertilizers are also used in nurseries and orchards. The use of specialty chemicals in limited-row crops is increasing primarily because of concerns about the environment, along with higher prices of grains, among other regulations.

Currently, the U.S. remains the biggest market for controlled-release fertilizers. In 2021, it made up about 82% of the market, recording a 70.4% growth during the study period. As precision farming and the industry at large continue to advance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with different stakeholders to increase awareness about controlled-release fertilizers among farmers.

These stakeholders include the Nature Conservancy, IFDC, NCGA and the Fertilizer Institute. This is expected to increase production of field crops in the country. Some companies mentioned in the report include Nutrien Limited, Agro Liquid, ICL Specialty Fertilizers, Florikan, Compo Expert GMbh and Haifa Group Limited, among others.

The switch to precision farming may not be feasible for everyone engaged in farming, and that means that manufacturers of conventional fertilizers such as Compass Minerals International Inc. (NYSE: CMP) will still have a large customer base that will be needing fertilizers.

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