Field crops are primarily used for agricultural purposes. These are cultivated on a commercial scale. In the U.S., field crops primarily include cotton, corn, wheat, and soybean. Most of these field crops are used for further processing in various end-use industries. For instance, corn production plays a vital role in several industries in the U.S., including ethanol processing, dairy, and poultry. Demand for field crops is anticipated to remain high in the U.S. in the next few years, due to rise in demand for agricultural produce coupled with the ever-increasing consumption level of the agricultural output.
The field crop seeds industry in the U.S. is developed with noteworthy advancements in the research and development of seeds used for commercial cultivation. Additionally, research and developments activities undertaken in the industry have resulted in much improved field crop yield. Currently, most farmers purchase new seeds (instead of using seeds saved from the previous harvest) and small seed businesses are giving way to larger enterprises that integrate plant breeding, production, conditioning, and marketing functions. This has consolidated the market to a large extent. According to one of the estimates, the U.S. accounts for nearly a quarter of the global crop seed market. High growth in the field crop seeds industry in the U.S. is attributed to large number of mergers and acquisitions.
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Additionally, expenditure on the field crop seeds has been significantly increasing over the years. Increase in the expenditure on the seeds is largely attributed to the rise in the quantity of seeds purchased by the U.S. farmers through commercial sources. The rise in seed purchases is projected to increase, considering the growth in scientific improvements in plant breeding. This, in turn, has led to a better crop yield. Furthermore, private expenditure in the field crop seeds market in the U.S. has been increasing significantly over the past decade as compared to public investments. Rise in investment in research and development activities in the last few years has led to increase in the introduction of new varieties of crops. The number of plant variety protection certificates issued by the United States Department of Agriculture is a useful indicator of the plant breeding research efforts. Significant increase in research and development of new seeds is leading to a better variety of crops. This coupled with the high yield is likely to act as a major driver for the field crop seeds market in the U.S. Additionally, the shift from public investments to private investments is projected to change the dynamics of the field crop seeds market in the U.S. However, rise in research activities in field crop seeds is leading to the introduction of genetically modified seeds. This is anticipated to adversely affect the field yields. Additionally, major players in the field crop seeds market are shifting their manufacturing bases from the U.S. to countries in Asia Pacific such as China, India, and Malaysia. This is likely to act as a restraint for the field crop seeds market in the U.S. during the forecast period.
The market is experiencing considerable consolidation and increased number of mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in November 2012, Syngenta AG acquired Sunfield Seeds Inc., a U.S.-based manufacturer of sunflower seeds that provides services in more than 30 countries. In October 2014, Bayer CropScience Ltd. announced plans to acquire the seed business of Granar S.A. Such acquisitions are expected to increase the existing competition in the market and further consolidate the field crop seeds market in the U.S. This is likely to create high entry barriers for new entrants in the market.
Key players operating in the field crop seeds market in the U.S. include Monsanto Company, Bayer CropScience Ltd., Syngenta AG, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, and Land O'Lakes, Inc.
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