Acetochlor is an organic herbicide belonging to the chloracetanilide group of chemicals. Acetochlor herbicide, also known as Azetochlor, is utilized as a pre-emergent selective herbicide employed against grasses, especially on corn crops. It is a systemic herbicide that acts as a protein synthesis inhibitor (inhibits elongase and geranyl geranyl pyrophosphate enzyme in the Gibberellin Pathway in grasses) and leads to metabolic dysfunction in the targeted weeds. Acetochlor herbicide is primarily absorbed by germinating stem shoots and secondarily through roots in weeds growing on the pre-planted arable crop land. Acetochlor herbicide is most used on maize (corn) crops across the world. It can also be used for controlling weeds in sunflower, soybean and sugarcane crops among others. Acetochlor herbicide is an amber colored odorless liquid with syrup like viscosity. It is soluble in water in low quantities and has low volatility. Acetochlor herbicide is toxic to aquatic life forms and has low bio-accumulation potential. It is a hazardous chemical and brief exposure may cause skin burns and irritation. It has been identified as a potent carcinogen and exposure may occur in the factory setting during manufacturing or during application on crop.
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Acetochlor herbicides are primarily used as selective herbicides against grasses sedges and some broadleaved weeds. They are extensively used by the U.S. corn farmers and sugarcane and soybean farmers in other parts of the world. Acetochlor herbicide has been recognized as a substitute for environmentally harmful herbicides by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) when used in regulated quantities. It is the key active ingredient in a variety of herbicide formulations.
The acetochlor herbicide market is driven by rising food security concerns for the rapidly increasing global population and decreasing area of arable land. This is putting pressure on farmers to increase yields to meet the global demand. However, rising awareness about the harmful effects of herbicides and other toxic agrochemical products and strict environmental regulations, especially in the developed nations of North America and Western Europe is expected to be the major restraining factor for the acetochlor herbicide market.
In terms of geography, Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of acetochlor herbicide riding on high sales of herbicide products to its large population base. Major agricultural economies including China, India and Indonesia are the major consumers of acetochlor herbicide for application in a variety of crops. Populous countries including China and India are growing rapidly and there is a general increase in prosperity of the resident population. This in turn is expected to drive demand for food grains and further for acetochlor herbicide.
Major market players have established their production facilities in Asia owing to the availability of cheap labor and land and comparatively lenient norms and regulations against chemicals. Another key consumer for acetochlor herbicide is North America especially in the well irrigated southern land in the Mississippi, Missouri and other corn planting areas of the U.S. In Rest of the World, Brazil, South Africa and Central Africa contribute to major demand for the market. Brazil is one of the world’s largest suppliers of corn and sugarcane, which makes it an attractive market for acetochlor herbicide suppliers. Europe is expected grow comparatively slower than other parts of the world due to stern government control over potentially harmful agrochemicals and general tendency of farmers towards sustainable organic farming techniques.
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Some of the key market players include Monsanto, Syngenta AG, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, Shanghai Mingdou Agrochemical Company Limited, and SinoHarvest Corporation among others.