The global market for Foliar Spray is projected to reach US$7.4 billion by 2025, driven by the growing popularity of smart strategies for managing nutrition of plants. Plant nutrition is growing in Importance against the backdrop of food security goals that prioritizes availability of sufficient, safe, and nutritious food for all. A key challenge that needs to be addressed to achieve this goal is minimizing the gap between actual and potential yield which typically is around 25% to 85%. Efforts to maximize crop production are therefore creating strong commercial opportunities for smart fertilizer solutions. Liquid fertilizers, in this regard, are growing in prominence for their numerous benefits such as slow and sustained nutrient release; even and balanced distribution of nutrients for plants; easy application and convenience; ready and faster nutrient absorption than compared to granular fertilizers; easy fertigation without the need for special expensive equipment as liquid fertilizers can be applied through the irrigation system; easy handling and lower cost of labor; faster application and higher shelf life that reduces storage costs. Among the many forms of liquid fertilizer application, foliar application is witnessing strong growth since faster nutrient absorption takes place through leaves in comparison with the roots. The leaf represents the storehouse of energy and spraying fertilizers directly on the leaves aids in easy passage of nutrients through the vascular system (leaf & stem) of the plant. Foliar feeding is also well suited in dry drought prone areas where soil water is sub-optimal preventing absorption of dry fertilizer elements. Economic, social and environmental benefits offered by reduced fertilizer use are driving growth of foliar spraying practices. Small applications of foliar nutrition can result in large increases in crop productivity thus reducing the volume of fertilizers used. Foliar sprays help increase availability of plant sugars, by over 25% to 30%, which are vital for soil bacteria to survive and breakdown rock powders into nutrients needed by plants. They are therefore extremely beneficial for Rhizosphere microflora. They have trace minerals which help correct mineral deficiencies and positively impact crop physiology.
Several foliar feeding agro programs on farms have revealed significant improvements in crop quality. Corns and strawberries which are foliar fed have darker colors, more stalks, stems, and leaves with little or no signs of drought stress. In comparison, farms with granular soil fertilizer applications have a higher risk of producing crops with faded colors, stunted and delayed growth. Foliar feeding is therefore increasingly becoming a key part of comprehensive programs aimed at holistically improving plant health. Rather than being a substitute for healthy soil, foliar feeding is an effective supplementary form of fertilization. When combined with basal fertilization, it also helps control pests such as spider mites, grasshoppers and other insects. The growing interest in hydroponics as the future of agriculture supported by factors such as declining availability of arable land for farming and focus on higher yields and harvest cycles, are poised to benefit demand for foliar sprays. In the absence of soil, foliar feeding is of vital importance for hydroponics growers to ensure that plants receive required nutrients. The United States, China and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 61.3% of the market. China also ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 7.8% over the analysis period supported by the country's efforts to shed its history of overuse of fertilizers without jeopardizing yields. The country's centrally-controlled government is aggressively pushing scientific farm methods and practices with enormous success. The country until now has achieved over 10% to 15% reduction in fertilizer use per crop.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others, Coromandel International Limited, EuroChem Group, Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd., Haifa Group, Hebei Monband Water Soluble Fertilizer Co. Ltd., Israel Chemicals Limited (ICL), K+S Aktiengesellschaft, TRIBOdyn AG, Yara International ASA.