Agrochemicals are pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers used for the management of ecosystems in agricultural sectors. Rudimentary variations on agrochemicals have been used for millennia to improve crop yields and control the populations of agricultural pests.
The earliest known use of agrochemicals dates to roughly 2500 B.C. when Sumerian farmers relied on Sulphur (S) compounds to reduce insect populations and the subsequent risk of pest-related famine. An evolution in synthetic chemical manufacture has vastly improved pesticide processes to accommodate for the enormously growing global population and the consequent increases in food demands. However, it is estimated that up to 40% of the world’s crops are spoiled by plant pests and diseases – even with the effective implementation of pesticides.
Types of Agrochemicals
There is a concerted effort to actively and conscientiously implement a broad range of agrochemicals to safely maintain and control the global food supply to ensure consistently high quality for widespread consumption. Types of agrochemicals include:
- Pesticides, or chemicals engineered to destroy insects and other organisms, weeds, and funguses that could spoil crop yields;
- Synthetic fertilizers, for example ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), which is designed to encourage crop growth by saturating soils with nutrients;
- Acidifiers and liming agents, engineered to alter the pH levels of soils to suit the planting properties of given crops;
- Soil conditioners, for example gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O), which is designed to condition soils with high sodium (Na) contents to improve planting conditions;
- Growth hormones, or synthetic chemicals designed to increase growth rates in animals and crops.
New and emerging agrochemical methods include the engineering of crops that are synthetically-resistant to herbicides, or that produce their own insecticides.
How are Agrochemicals Made?
Production methods vary, given the increasingly widespread classes or types of modern agrochemicals, but typically rely on large-scale production processes that begin with custom chemical building blocks.
Agrochemical Solutions from Evonik JAYHAWK
JAYHAWK are specialists in the production of a broad range of fine chemicals and crosslinkers for chemical synthesis. We are proud of our global reputation, and work closely with our customers to ensure exceptional quality control standards are met at all stages of chemical synthesis and product manufacture.
If you would like any more information about our involvement with the formulation of agrochemicals, please do not hesitate to contact us.