The U.S. crop protection chemicals industry experienced a challenging year for manufacturers as unfavorable weather conditions combined with low commodity prices forced manufacturers to make big decisions about their company’s future direction throughout 2014.

Prolonged cold temperatures delayed the start to the U.S. season until late May, resulting in market conditions which reduced the need for sales of crop protection chemicals. The need for pre-emergent herbicides increased as concerns for glyphosate-resistant weeds continued. Insecticide and fungicide sales were affected by the cold temperatures while seed treatments gain a slight market share after experiencing a 25% increase the previous year. Overall crop protection chemical sales declined slightly in 2014, posting a decrease of 0.9% over the previous year. Net manufacturers’ sales within the crop protection industry total $9.35 billion, according to the recently published Crop Protection Manufacturers Report: A Strategic Market Analysis of the U.S. Crop Protection Industry by worldwide management consulting and market research firm Kline.

Prices of agricultural commodities declined, further affecting the market in 2014, largely due to an increase in the scope of expected yields and a rise in stockpiles of key crops (corn, soybeans, and cotton). The lower prices of agricultural commodities contributed to a decline in grower profits effectively lowering sales of crop inputs, including crop protection chemicals.

The cold conditions reduced insect pressure, causing the insecticide segment to decline considerably. Similarly, disease pressure declined from the unseasonable weather resulting in less fungicide applications. A large percentage of growers did not apply fungicides because they planted late and by the time they got to August to spray it was dry. Joe Prochaska, Project Manager at Kline’s Agrochemicals/Specialty Pesticide Practice, states, “The slight increase in fungicide sales likely resulted from the Southeast and Northern Plain states where warmer, wetter conditions prevailed.”

As the year began to unfold, crop protection manufacturers began announcing decisions that would change the direction of their business. Arysta LifeScience and Chemtura AgroSolutions announce the sale of their companies to Platform Specialty Products (SPC), a specialty formulator of crop protection chemicals. FMC is acquiring Danish-based manufacturer Cheminova. Albaugh signs several strategic partnerships with international crop protection manufacturers, while Adama (formerly Makhteshim Agan) announces it will acquire ChinaChem’s 60% ownership within its company.

Kline’s Crop Protection Manufacturers Report covers the 2014 marketing year for the U.S. crop protection industry. The study provides an extensive review of the sales and trends affecting the crop protection chemical industry along with extensive profiles, including individual product sales, of the leading 20 companies which supply over 98% of the total industry sales.

Kline will be hosting a complimentary webinar on key findings from the Crop Protection Manufacturers Report: A Strategic Market Analysis of the U.S. Crop Protection Industry on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 9AM EDT. Register for the event by clicking or pasting http://bit.ly/CPMR15.