The global butachlor market has been driven by its extensive use in rice farming in Southeast Asia. However, the dependence of the global butachlor market on the region for a major part of its overall revenue could become an adversity for the market in the coming years. The toxicity of butachlor is weakened by the large amounts of water used in paddy farming, but it is still sufficient to cause problems for the humans as well as animals around the farmlands. The rising awareness in emerging countries such as India regarding the risks of large-scale butachlor usage is responsible for the possible risk to the butachlor market. The use of butachlor in rice has been linked to deaths caused by mid-day meal in rural schools India, while its ecological impact has also been assessed to determine its carcinogenicity.
The loss of arable lands is the key driver likely to propel the demand for butachlor in the coming years. In Asia Pacific, the leading consumer in the global butachlor market, a significant volume of agricultural land has been redirected for commercial or industrial use. The steady urbanization observed in countries such as India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and China is likely to ensure the continuation of this trend, aided by the steady growth of the residential construction industry in the region. The rising population of Asia Pacific is also vital for the butachlor market, as it creates the need for more food.
On the other hand, the rising preference for organic farming could become a threat for the global butachlor market in the coming years. Farmers across the world are starting to prefer organic agriculture due to its benefits in terms of the ecological impact of the process. A growing community of consumers is also coming together over the demand for organically grown food.
Butachlor also known as ‘Machete’ is an organic herbicide that belongs to the acetanilide group of chemicals, and is utilized as a pre-emergent selective herbicide employed against grasses. It is a systemic herbicide that acts as a protein synthesis inhibitor and leads to metabolic dysfunction in the targeted weeds. Butachlor herbicide is primarily absorbed by germinating stem shoots and secondarily by weed roots, growing on the pre-planted arable crop land.
Butachlor herbicide is mainly used in India on rice crops, as it requires moist soil and considerable amount of water for safe application. Being phytotoxic in nature, it must be used after diluting with water. Butachlor herbicide is applied one or two weeks before seed plantation, during wet seeded conditions, on moist soil, and left for three days in three to four centimeter of water. The water level has to be maintained for five days to a week and drained before seed plantation. Butachlor herbicide is toxic to aquatic life and has low bio-accumulation potential. It decomposes into toxic gases at high temperatures and exposure may cause pneumonitis on inhalation, and may also trigger nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
Butachlor herbicides are primarily used as selective herbicides against grasses, sedges, and some broadleaved weeds. They are extensively used by Indian farmers for mainly rice cultivation and other well irrigated crops. Butachlor herbicide works efficiently to remove weed and is best suited for well irrigated or moist soils.
The global butachlor market is growing due to escalating food demand for the booming global population and reducing arable land. However, rising general awareness about the harmful effects of herbicides and other toxic agrochemicals, along with stringent environmental regulations, especially in developed countries of North America and Europe is expected to be a limiting factor for the butachlor herbicide market. Due to the opposition of chemicals used in agriculture, farmers are moving to organic farming and development of better and less harmful substitutes.
The large population base makes Asia Pacific a major consumer of butachlor herbicide. Agricultural economies including China, Indonesia and India are chief consumers of butachlor herbicide for its heavy usage in variety of crops. A rise in disposable income and purchase power parity of China and India is expected to drive demand for food grains, thereby increasing the demand for butachlor herbicide.
Comparative lenient norms and regulations against chemicals, availability of cheap labor and land, Asia is the preferred region for production facilities for key market players. North America is another leading consumer for butachlor herbicide, especially in well irrigated southern land of Mississippi and Missouri areas of the U.S. In addition, Brazil, South Africa and Central Africa contribute to the major demand for the market. Strict government control norms over potentially harmful agrochemicals and general tendency of farmers towards sustainable organic farming techniques, Europe is projected to witness slower growth in comparison to other regions.