Published: February 19, 2024

Category: Market News

Corteva and Bayer—two giant agricultural seed providers—accounted for more than half the U.S. retail seed sales of corn, soybeans, and cotton in 2018–20. Through gradual concentration, today four firms (Bayer, Corteva, ChemChina’s Syngenta Group, and BASF) control the majority of crop seed and agricultural chemical sales. In 2015, six firms led global markets for seeds and agricultural chemicals.

Intellectual property rights expanded in the 70s and 80s, incentivizing private companies to develop new biotech seed traits and varieties—including genetically modified (GM) seeds and subsequent pesticide and seed treatment products. Thus, the U.S. crop seed sector has been woven into the agricultural chemical market with even more concentration, leading to mergers between companies selling pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides), seed treatments, crop seeds, and traits.

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

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