Based upon the numbers, the biologicals category has made some excellent market gains these past few years. Despite this fact, there remains much work to do for widespread acceptance to take place. This was the overall finding of the 2021 Biologicals Survey, conducted by CropLife® magazine this past January and presented in great detail in the article “Biologicals and the Ag Retailer: Some Progress, But Challenges Remain.” The article was part of Meister Media Worldwide’s recently released Biological Crop Protection & Plant Health Annual Report.
The survey built upon an earlier such study, released back during the 2017-18 growing season, looking at the performance of the biologicals category in the ag retail marketplace. First up, the 2021 survey asked about the mix of biological products companies currently sold to grower-customers — biofertilizers, biopesticides, and biostimulants. Respondents were allowed to choose all three biological products types for this question. And 27% indicated their companies sold no biological products at the present time — the same percentage as in the 2017-18 survey.
In terms of the three types of biological products, biostimulants remain the most common. According to the 2021 survey, 64% of respondents sell these products to their customers, up 1% from the 2017-18 survey. The percentage of respondents selling biofertilizers also increased from the earlier survey, up from 35% in 2017-18 to 39% in 2021. Meanwhile, the biopesticide segment saw its percentage drop slightly from 2018, down 2% to 31% in this year’s survey results.