Study: Crop Protection R&D Costs Increase Significantly

CropLife America (CLA) has released a new study of research and development for the crop protection industry showing a nearly 40% increase in investment expenditure over the past decade in the discovery, development, and registration of new pest and disease prevention products in the U.S. and Europe. Commissioned by CLA and the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), the study offers new perspectives on committed expenditure related to innovation for protecting crops and fighting disease through a constantly changing regulatory process for the industry. Conducted by agribusiness consultant Phillips McDougall, the research indicates how the authorization of a new agrochemical product is highly complex, expensive and time consuming.

While announcing the study’s results during a news conference today at the National Press Club, CLA President and CEO Jay Vroom stressed the importance of research and development in bringing a new crop protection product to market. However, he expressed concern over the lengthy time, an average of 9.8 years from the first research tests, that it takes for final authorization of the product for market introduction.

“This process is essential to helping feed the world’s growing population, projected to exceed nine billion in the year 2050,” said Vroom. “Seventy percent more food will be required just 40 years from now. However, it is only through the vested research interests and funding of both the public and private sectors that we can solve those unique challenges facing modern agriculture and ensure abundant, sustainable and nutritious food.”

“CLA recognizes that innovation in the science of crop protection is equally enhanced by public research and we support sound investment in public funding for research on plant and pest biology and crop protection technologies,” he stated.

Vroom said that CLA will present its priorities for research to the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture at a stakeholders’ workshop on April 13, emphasizing that additional future benefits of crop protection products in modern agriculture require a substantial level of research funding.

The Phillips McDougall study reported that discovery and development for new crop protection products reached an average of $256 million in 2005-2008, a 39.1% increase over 2000. During the same timeframe, the cost of taking a product through developmental stages increased to an average of $146 million, nearly double the amount in 2000. The greatest increase was identified in the costs of field trials which rose over 115% in 2005-08 to an average of $54 million.

Even though a high number of products entered the research and development chain, the number of products actually making it through the stages to market introduction declined from four in 1995 to only 1.3 in 2005-08.

“We are facing an urgent need for agricultural innovation, one that is crucial to meeting global demands,” Vroom stated. “Farmers will require new tools, techniques and technologies to meet that demand while using about the same amount of land, water and other natural resources. However, ever-increasing costs and lengthy timelines are challenging our ability to respond.”

Besides exhaustive laboratory and field tests that help ensure all new products are safe, companies must also adhere to constantly changing regulatory requirements, according to Vroom.

“We must inform our legislators and regulators about the stringent regulatory obligations with which the industry is already complying. The crop protection industry is one of the most highly regulated sectors in all of agriculture and we support a sound, consistent and risk-assessment based regulatory system for our products conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).” Vroom said. “What we need is a consistent regulatory framework that is supported by science based policies in the support of modern agricultural production.”

14 leading companies in the global crop protection sector were surveyed by Phillips McDougall for the study. Those firms agreed that the overall expenditure in research and development would continue its dramatic increase over the upcoming years. Overall expenditure on agrochemical R&D by the companies surveyed is expected to increase by a further 26.4% between 2007 and 2012, with increases spread across the entire spectrum of the R&D process.

In closing, CLA’s president urged everyone not to take modern agriculture or the research that supports it for granted. “It is essential that we continue to advance modern agricultural production by investing in crop protection research, innovative farming methods and new technologies to meet the unique challenges faced by agriculture and consumers worldwide who rely on it,” he concluded.

To download a free copy of the report, please visit www.croplifeamerica.org/phillipsmcdougallstudy.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & Future
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For Breast Cancer Awareness
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
Top 100 Articles
Crop InputsLand ‘O Lakes, United Suppliers Finalize Merger
August 24, 2015
According to a press release on August 24, owners of United Suppliers, Inc. and members of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “have Read More
West Central Cooperative, Jefferson, IA
CropLife 100Iowa Cooperatives To Explore Unification
August 19, 2015
The boards of directors at two of Iowa’s leading farmer-owned cooperatives yesterday signed a letter of intent to study the Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Purchases California-Based Specialty Crops Retailer
July 20, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings has successfully acquired California-based NH3 Service Co.  Operating as part of Pinnacle’s Performance Agriculture brand, the new locations Read More
Asmus Farm Supply liquid fertilizer facility features 20,000 square feet
CropLife 100Slideshow: Asmus Farm Supply Shows Off Its New Liquid Fertilizer Facility
July 15, 2015
Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, recently added a new liquid fertilizer facility to its company operations. The new liquid fertilizer Read More
Latest News
ManagementReviewing MAGIE 2015
September 2, 2015
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj talks what he saw at the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show. Read More
Melissa Olds Dow AgroSciences
Crop InputsDow AgroSciences: Highlighting The Past, Present & …
September 2, 2015
In general, media events held by large agricultural suppliers tend to focus primarily on what plans the company has in Read More
Mobile tablet
OpinionTaking Data Head On
September 2, 2015
As you read this column, I’m hoping that if you picked up the phone and gave me a call, you’d Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Announces New Business Unit Head For…
September 1, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America announces the addition of Rico Christensen, Business Unit Head, North America. Christensen will have responsibility for Read More
Wilbur Ellis Pink Soybean Seed Treatment
Crop InputsWilbur-Ellis Goes Pink With Soybean Seed Treatments For…
September 1, 2015
This past year, proceeds of pink-dyed soybeans treated and sold to Wilbur-Ellis seed customers in Chester, SD, went to two Read More
SprayersNORAC Active Wing Roll Slated For More Sprayers
September 1, 2015
NORAC Systems, a member of the Topcon Positioning Group, announces the release of Active Wing Roll for RoGator, Apache, New Read More
Syngenta Sign
FungicidesSyngenta’s Newest Fungicide Receives EPA Approval
September 1, 2015
Syngenta announced today that its newest succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicide – Solatenol – has received registration from EPA and Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
Crop InputsDelaying The Fertilizer Decision
September 1, 2015
Comments gathered from several retailers recently evidenced a classic good-news-bad-news scenario. Good news is prices and supplies of nitrogen, phosphate, Read More
StewardshipBee Buffer Strip Initiative Seeks 100 Ohio Farmers
August 31, 2015
The U.S. Bee Buffer Project, an initiative of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), Burt’s Bees and The Burt’s Bees Greater Good Read More
2015 ShowStopper Award, MAGIE
EquipmentA ShowStopper From Case IH: The Patriot 2250
August 31, 2015
For nine years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with not only Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, FMC Expand Roundup Ready PLUS Platform
August 31, 2015
FMC Corp. and Monsanto Co. announced today an expanded agreement to continue their participation in the Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Read More
Deere Nutrient Applicator
Eric SfiligojThe Good & Bad News From MAGIE
August 31, 2015
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries (MAGIE) trade show in Bloomington, IL. Read More
CPS Morenci receiving its 4R certification
StewardshipCPS Morenci Becomes First Michigan Facility Certified I…
August 31, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that Crop Production Services, Inc.’s facility located in Morenci, MI, has been Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Soucy Track Distribution Alliance
August 28, 2015
John Deere announces an alliance with Soucy Track to sell and distribute products through the John Deere dealer channel. “This Read More
FertilizerFall-Applied Phosphorus: A Rooted Investment
August 28, 2015
As commodity prices decrease and input prices continue to rise, farmers are seeking more efficient strategies for meeting a high Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsWhat’s Next For Monsanto, Syngenta?
August 28, 2015
After dropping its $47 billion bid to take over Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta, Monsanto may be turning its focus to Read More
Golden Harvest Corn stalks
Crop InputsMonsanto: Syngenta Not The Only Horse In Crop Protectio…
August 28, 2015
Monsanto Co, having ditched an audacious $46 billion (£30 billion) offer for Syngenta AG, may downshift to a humbler strategy Read More
ManagementConsolidation hits and a miss; And a look at China’s ch…
August 28, 2015
As Monsanto suspends its pursuit of Syngenta, consolidation news at the retail and distribution level heats up. CropLife magazine’s Executive Read More