Agricultural chemicals are a global business. Almost six billion pounds of active ingredients are consumed annually, led by herbicides (36 percent) and insecticides (25 percent). The US market is about 1.3 billion pounds, led by herbicides (43 percent) and insecticides (10 percent). The differences are driven by:
- The US focus on controlling weeds and increasing crop yields
- Pressure from the US EPA to minimize harmful residual chemicals on food crops and persistence of residues in the soil
In view of environmental concerns, the EPA has made it clear that they are concerned about the persistence of organophosphates and their impact on the environment and would not approve any new products in this class. There is a strong research effort in place to develop alternative, more environment friendly technologies and products such as biopesticides.