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  • Published In : Feb 2024
  • Code : CMI6650
  • Pages :135
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Agrochemicals

The foliar spray market size is expected to reach US$ 9.70 Bn by 2031, from US$ 7.30 Bn in 2024, at a CAGR of 4.1% during the forecast period.

Foliar spraying refers to the application of liquid fertilizers, pesticides, or other agricultural chemicals directly to the leaves of plants. There are different types of products used for foliar spraying based on their composition and purpose. Nitrogen-, phosphorus-, and potassium-based fertilizers are commonly used as nutritional sprays to boost plant growth and yield. Micronutrients like zinc, manganese, and iron are also supplied through foliar feeds. Pesticide sprays containing fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used to protect crops from diseases, weeds, and insects. Plant growth regulators in the form of hormones and stimulants are another category that modifies physiological functions when sprayed onto plant leaves.

Each type of foliar spray has its advantages as well as limitations. Fertilizer sprays allow for quick absorption of nutrients through leaf stomata and their transportation within the plant. This leads to immediate greening and growth responses. They spare roots from exposure to high salt concentrations. However, their effects are temporary and multiple sprays may be required throughout the growth season. Pesticide sprays effectively control different agricultural pests but come with environmental and human safety concerns due to potential toxicity. Strict regulations govern their use. Plant growth stimulants effectively boost yield and quality when applied correctly. Nonetheless, wrong application timings and concentrations may hurt crop growth instead of helping it.

Regional Analysis:

  • The Asia Pacific has established itself as the dominant region in the global foliar spray market over the past decade. Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a CAGR of 40% during the forecast period. Population expansion and rising affordability have increased the regional consumption of food grains substantially. To meet the growing demand, governments are promoting commercial farming practices and new technologies. Several countries like India, China, Thailand and Vietnam now rank among the largest producers and exporters of rice, fruits and vegetables. However, limited availability of cultivable land requires maximizing output from existing farmland. This is positively impacting the uptake of foliar sprays for boosting yields. Production facilities set up by global leaders are making high-quality products easily accessible even in rural pockets
  • North America is expected to expand at a CAGR of 30% during the forecast period. The large-scale agricultural operations across the Midwest and Western United States has created considerable demand for foliar sprays to boost crop yields. Leading agricultural product manufacturers have set up production facilities across the major farming states such as Iowa, Nebraska and California to cater to regional requirements. Well-established distribution networks allow farmers easy access to a wide range of foliar nutrient solutions. Government support through subsidies and financing schemes have encouraged widespread adoption of productivity-enhancing solutions like foliar sprays. Stringent quality regulations have also boosted customer confidence in commercial products. The presence of pioneering agrotech companies and research universities further strengthens the regional industry.
  • Europe is expected to expand at a CAGR of 15 % during the forecast period. The market is expected to the increasing demand for high-quality crops, the growing trend towards organic farming and sustainable agriculture, and the adoption of advanced technologies are driving the market growth in Europe region.
  • Latin America is expected to expand at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. The growing demand for foliar sprays from horticulture, the emphasis on technologically advanced farming techniques, and the increasing awareness of the benefits of foliar sprays are driving the market growth in Latin America region.
  • Middle East & Africa is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period. The presence of agricultural economies, the availability of fertile and arable land, and lucrative government schemes are contributing to the exponential growth of the foliar spray market in Middle East & Africa region.

Figure 1. Foliar Spray Market Share (%), By Region, 2024


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Analyst’s Viewpoint:

The foliar spray market is expected to see steady growth over the coming years. The increasing demand for high-value crops and need to improve crop yield per acre are the major drivers boosting adoption of foliar sprays. Farmers are looking to maximize productivity of their farmland due to decreasing farm sizes. Foliar sprays provide a efficient way to supplement nutrients and keep plants healthy. North America currently dominates the market owing to large scale contract farming and increasing demand for food grains in the region. However, Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as the fastest growing market due to rise in disposable incomes and expanding agricultural production in countries like India and China.

One of the key challenges restraining market growth is the availability of affordable generic and substitute fertilizers. Additionally, pricing pressures faced by farmers particularly in developing nations limit their ability to invest in high value inputs like foliar sprays. Stringent environmental regulations regarding usage of chemicals could also hamper market revenues. Nonetheless, development of innovative formulations that are less hazardous to farm workers and environment present new opportunities. Focus on expansion in Latin America and Middle East & Africa also offers prospects for foliar spray companies to establish presence in emerging markets.

In conclusion, the foliar spray market has significant headroom for expansion driven by global population growth. While pricing and regulations need close monitoring,

Foliar Spray Market- Drivers:

  • Rising Demand for Enhanced Crop Yield and Quality: The demand for effective crop protection solutions is growing significantly across many agricultural regions. Farmers are under constant pressure to boost yields and produce high quality outputs in order to maximize their profitability. Conventional methods alone are often not sufficient enough to deal with the regular threats from pests, weeds, and diseases. Foliar sprays have proven to be a very useful supplement that fills this gap. The uniform covering of leaves by spray droplets helps deliver agrochemicals precisely where they are needed on the plant surface. This leads to better absorption of nutrients and active ingredients. As a result, crops develop stronger with desirable attributes like improved color, size, shelf life etc. This not only increases the overall productivity per acre but also the market price that farmers can fetch for their produce. Countries with developing agricultural sectors have especially warmed up to foliar sprays as they aim to modernize practices for sustaining food demand from a booming population. Manufacturers are continually upgrading formulations by combining micronutrients, biologicals and other components to cater to diverse soil and climatic conditions. All these factors indicate why foliar sprays will remain a fundamental part of integrated crop management programs globally.
  • Growing Environmental and Sustainability Concerns: With increasing challenges of climate change, there is a strong impetus on agricultural methods that are less damaging to the environment. Foliar sprays present a viable solution which addresses this need. When applied judiciously on plant leaves, the spray solution has minimal contact with the soil surface so there is little risk of it leaching into the groundwater through run-off. This protects sensitive aquatic bodies from pollution. The small droplets also ensure efficient use of inputs without wastage. Modern spray technologies like drift retardant nozzles help maximize target coverage while minimizing over-spray drift to off-target areas. As an added advantage, several crop protection agents are now formulated in ways to be degraded faster after application. As sustainability rises up the priorities of farmers, governments and food retailers, foliar sprays are gaining popularity as a responsible crop protection approach through their comparatively lighter ecological footprint versus some traditional soil-applied measures. Agrochemical manufacturers acknowledge this shift and have intensified R&D efforts into developing even more eco-friendly foliar spray products and application methods to strengthen their market position.

Foliar Spray Market- Opportunities

  • Product innovation for different crop types: Product innovation in foliar sprays targeting different crop types holds much potential for agricultural growth and sustainability. As climate change leads to more extreme weather, developing foliar feeds that can better withstand drought, heat waves, or heavy rainfall will help farmers protect crop yields. Certain new formulations being tested could fortify plants' natural stress responses and boost their tolerance to fluctuating conditions. For example, recent USDA trials found a novel seaweed-based nutrient spray increased corn and soybean resilience to temperature swings by over 25%, reducing losses by 10-15% even in bad years.

Adopting more precise application technologies like drone-assisted spraying or GIS-guided variable rate control also allow for more efficient use of inputs. Targeting unique nutritional needs at different stages of plant development helps maximize the value and impact of foliar applications. This customized approach to soil and plant health will be crucial for sustaining productivity gains into the future. It creates opportunities for startups to capitalize on digital precision tools that generate site-specific prescription maps. Agrochemical companies must keep innovating spray solutions tailored for new crop varieties as well as rapidly emerging specialty crops.

As population growth drives continued agricultural intensification, updated spray formulations delivering cutting-edge active ingredients will be paramount for supporting higher yields on less land. Whether addressing new disease pressures, enhancing nutritional quality, or improving post-harvest longevity, constant R&D investment remains key to serving the diversity of global farming needs. International organizations like Food and Agriculture Organization project growth in global fruit and vegetable production volumes over 45% by 2050, signaling vast market potential for innovators delivering customized agronomic solutions.

  • Export markets expansion: Exporting foliar sprays to new markets presents a significant opportunity for growth. Foliar fertilizers are gaining popularity globally as farmers look for efficient ways to boost crop yields. According to a 2021 report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the demand for specialty fertilizers is growing steadily in many developing countries due to increasing need for higher crop production to meet the needs of rising populations. Foliar sprays allow for targeted delivery of nutrients directly to plant leaves, maximizing uptake rates. As underdeveloped agricultural markets modernize and seek to intensify cultivation, foliar products provide an appealing solution.

Many regions that offer attractive export potential lack well-established domestic foliar fertilizer industries. For example, across Central and South America as well as parts of Asia and Africa, conventional granular fertilizers currently dominate agricultural inputs. These areas present fertile ground for companies offering innovative foliar solutions tailored to local crop and soil conditions. As farmers become aware of the benefits of more precise nutrient delivery through the leaf, export demand is poised to grow exponentially in coming years. Knowledge transfer initiatives led by exporting country stakeholders help raise awareness and educate new users. Successful demonstration of increased yields and profits convinces many to adopt the technology.

Climatic changes also play a role in expanding export opportunities. According to the Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2022 by the ND-GAIN Index, parts of Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are highly vulnerable regions that will face worsening drought and weather instability due to climate change in the near future. Foliar fertilization aids crop resilience as it facilitates timely nutrient absorption despite dry or stressful conditions. As climate impacts escalate food security threats, innovative agricultural methods supporting more robust harvests are set to gain broader acceptance worldwide. The universal need to boost sustainable production positions foliar products among solutions with enormous untapped export promise.

Global Foliar Spray Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 7.30  Bn 
Historical Data for: 2019 to 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 - 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 4.1% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 9.70  Bn 
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Type: Nitrogenous, Potassic, Micronutrients, Phosphatic
  • By Form: Powder, Liquid
  • By Application: Horticulture Openfield, Horticulture, Greenhouse, Field Crops, Turf & Ornamental, Other
Companies covered:

ANDAMAN AG, Nutrient Technologies, Yara, Aries Agro Limited, and EuroChem

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising Demand for Enhanced Crop Yield and Quality
  • Growing Environmental and Sustainability Concerns  
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Difficulty in Proper Application Techniques Restrains Market Growth
  • High Equipment and Operational Costs Limit Widespread Adoption

Foliar Spray Market- Trends

  • Adoption of precision farming techniques: The increased use of precision farming and digital agriculture tools is having a major impact on the foliar sprays market. Precision farming utilizes technology like GPS, sensors, and data analysis to precisely target the application of inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. This allows farmers to customize spraying based on detailed geo-referenced maps of their fields. By only applying sprays where needed, based on soil conditions, crop health and other field data, farmers can reduce chemical usage by 20-30%. This both cuts costs for farmers and decreases potential environmental impacts. The ability to spray only specific problem areas is increasing demand for targeted foliar nutrition products. According to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the acreage of US crop land using GPS and GIS precision technology almost doubled between 2008-2018, reaching over 100 million acres. As more farmers adopt precision techniques, it is driving growth in tailored precision foliar products.

The shift to precision agriculture is also influencing the type of foliar spray products preferred by farmers. Digital data analysis allows for more precise identification of crop nutrient deficiencies or pest threats. As a result, there is increased demand for foliar sprays customized for specific needs, rather than broad-spectrum applications. For example, data may show a field only needs treatments for a certain strain of fungus. This creates market opportunities for foliar product manufacturers to develop more targeted nutrient mixtures or bio-pesticides addressing single issues. Leading precision agriculture supplier AGCO's 2021 survey of American farmers found 78% have increased their use of controlled traffic patterns, grid soil sampling, and varietal zoning enabled by precision technologies on their fields in just the past three years. As precision adoption rates continue rising, it will further reshape the foliar spray market.

  • Digitalization in agriculture: The trend of digitalization in agriculture is having a significant impact on the foliar spray market. Farmers are increasingly using precision and digital farming techniques to improve crop yields and quality. Sensor technologies, Internet of Things devices, drones and satellite imagery are helping farmers closely monitor crop health and detect issues like nutrient deficiencies or pest infestations quickly. This real-time data allows for more targeted application of foliar sprays only where and when they are needed. Precision spraying equipment connected to GPS and digital maps ensures no overlap or missed areas when spraying. This optimizes fertilizer and pesticide usage, saving costs for farmers and reducing environmental impact. Data collected through digital means is also enabling more customized foliar spray formulations. Agronomists can analyze a field's specific conditions and needs to advise farmers on the right blend of nutrients or active ingredients suited for that location. Some foliar spray manufacturers are partnering with sensor companies and agronomic service providers to offer digital advisory services along with their products. This comprehensive solution helps boost farmer output while also providing opportunities to upsell additional spray rounds or related products. For example, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, precision agriculture techniques have increased average crop yields by over 15% and profits by over 20% for adopters compared to conventional farmers.

The shift towards data-driven agriculture will continue propelling growth in the foliar sprays market, especially for precision and digital products. Manufacturers are investing heavily in research to develop new spray mixes and formulations designed for precision applications. They are also enhancing their digital capabilities to better facilitate online agro-advisory and e-commerce sales channels. This trend is set to vastly improve farm productivity and sustainability worldwide in the coming years.

Foliar Spray Market- Restraints:

  • Difficulty in Proper Application Techniques Restrains Market Growth: While foliar sprays are effective, their application requires specialized knowledge and skills to get optimal outcomes. Factors like spray volume, pressure, timing influence nutrient absorption and disease/pest control. Inconsistent, improper, or untimely application may lead to inadequate or no benefits. This remains a significant challenge, especially in developing regions with limited farmer training. As foliar sprays behave differently than soil applications, their use demands new practices and precautions. Application mistakes can even damage crops. This technical difficulty and the labor involved in multiple foliar spray rounds throughout the crop cycle sometimes discourage farmers from adopting the technology fully. Proper training and extension support are required to overcome this restraint.
  • High Equipment and Operational Costs Limit Widespread Adoption: The cost of application equipment like manned/drone-based sprayers combined with the multiple applications required each season increases the overall operational expenses of foliar feeding. Large-scale farmers with sufficient resources can manage these costs, but small and resource-poor growers find it difficult. The high initial investment required also prevents some interested farmers from procuring the technology. Moreover, costs vary with crop types - high-value crops may cover expenses better than lower-value ones. These economic factors constrain the foliar spray market's reach, especially in the developing world where farms are generally small and marginal. While the technology promises high yields and profits, the upfront capital requirement limits its adoption potential - a challenge that needs innovation and financing support to overcome.

Segment Analysis:

Crop Type drives demand in the foliar spray market

In terms of crop type, the foliar spray market is segmented into fruits & vegetables, cereals & grains, oilseeds & pulses, and other crops. Among these, fruits & vegetables contributes the highest share of the market owing to the increasing demand for high quality crops. Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable in nature and more susceptible to pests and diseases. Foliar spraying helps farmers increase the productivity and quality of produce by providing essential nutrients directly into the leaves. Changing consumer preferences towards safer and chemical-free products also drives the adoption of foliar sprays which use natural or organic ingredients. Many spray manufacturers have launched new variants tailored specifically for fruits & vegetables to gain a competitive advantage in this lucrative segment. Furthermore, growth in greenhouse vegetable farming practices rely heavily on foliar sprays for plant protection and nourishment, thereby boosting demand. Population growth and rising health concerns have increased fruit & vegetable consumption globally, especially in developing countries, augmenting the need for higher yields through efficient spraying techniques. Countries with major produce growing industries like the US, China, and India contribute significantly to segment revenues.

Lawn and Garden sustains demand in the foliar spray market

In terms of application, the foliar spray market is segmented into agricultural crops, horticulture crops, lawns and turfs, commercial buildings, and others. Among these applications, the lawns and gardens segment contributes the highest share. Frequent mowing and foot traffic on residential and commercial lawns require regular fertilizing and protection from weeds, pests, and fungal diseases to maintain healthy growth. This has ensured steady demand for foliar spray products over the years. Busy lifestyles have also boosted the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture and preference for easy to apply spray formulations rather than soil drenching methods. Leading players offer varied product lines targeting homeowners for their garden & lawn care routines. Rising environmental awareness and shift towards sustainable landscaping practices promote the usage of natural or organic sprays. Moreover, growth in housing construction activities particularly in developed markets of North America and Europe augment the installation of manicured lawns and gardens, driving foliar spray volumes. Professional landscaping and turf grass management also represents an important end-user segment.

Crop Nutrients drive growth in cereal and grains segment

In terms of crop type, the foliar spray market is segmented into fruits & vegetables, cereals & grains, oilseeds & pulses, and other crops. Among these, cereals and grains accounts for the highest share. As a staple food, cereals such as wheat, corn, rice and barley occupy large acreage worldwide, making them highly susceptible to deficiencies. Foliar fertilization helps overcome nutrient deficiencies and correct imbalances in the soil. It provides readily absorbable nutrients during critical growth stages, boosting yields. Manufacturers offer customized spray solutions containing macro and micronutrients suited for different cereal crops. Nitrogen, phosphate and potassium remain the predominant nutrients demanded due to their role in grain formation, ripening and plant metabolism. Application timings are also tailored to maximize returns. Developing regions with lower fertilizer usage and irrigation infrastructure can greatly benefit from this efficient mode of nutrient delivery. Furthermore, demand for higher cereal outputs to meet the needs of rising global population drives foliar spray adoption. Stringent quality regulations in major import markets prompt growers to ensure balanced nutrition for optimum crop performance via sprays.

Recent Development

  • In January 2023, K+S Aktiengesellschaft's revealed its plans to purchase 75% of the fertilizer business belonging to Industrial Commodities Holdings (Pty) Ltd (ICH), a prominent South African trading company. The acquisition will result in the establishment of a new entity called Fertiva (Pty) Ltd, which will bolster K+S Aktiengesellschaft's presence and operations in the agricultural sector across South and East Africa. This strategic acquisition signifies the company's commitment to expanding and fortifying its agricultural business in key regions, setting the stage for future growth and success. K+S Aktiengesellschaft is a German chemical company headquartered in Kassel, Germany. The company is Europe's largest supplier of potash for use in fertilizer and also produces and distributes other mineral fertilizers, such as those from magnesium and sulfur.

Figure 2. Foliar Spray Market Share (%), By Form, 2024


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Top Companies in the Foliar Spray Market

  • Nutrient Technologies
  • Yara
  • Aries Agro Limited

Definition- Foliar spray, also known as foliar feeding, is a technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves, as opposed to putting it in the soil. This method allows plants to absorb essential elements through their leaves, which can be more readily absorbed than through the root and stem. Foliar spray fertilizer is an excellent short-term solution for plants experiencing stress, but it is always best to build up the soil with plenty of nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Difficulty in proper application techniques restrains market growth, high equipment and operational costs limit widespread adoption are some factors that can hamper the growth of the foliar spray market.

The rising demand for enhanced crop yield and quality, and growing environmental and sustainability concerns are expected to drive the foliar spray market growth.

The Form segment is the leading segment of foliar spray market.

Some key players operating in the Foliar spray market ANDAMAN AG, Nutrient Technologies, Yara, Aries Agro Limited, and EuroChem.

Asia Pacific is expected to account for the largest share of the foliar spray market.

The foliar spray market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% from 2024 to 2031.

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