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The Passaic Agricultural Chemical Works in Newark, New Jersey, 1876

An agrochemical or agrichemical, a contraction of agricultural chemical, is a chemical product used in industrial agriculture. Agrichemical refers to biocides (pesticides including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and nematicides) and synthetic fertilizers. It may also include hormones and other chemical growth agents.[1][2]

Agrochemicals are counted among speciality chemicals.


Biological action[edit]

In most of the cases, agrochemicals refer to pesticides.[3]

Application method[edit]


Many agrochemicals are toxic, and agrichemicals in bulk storage may pose significant environmental and/or health risks, particularly in the event of accidental spills. In many countries, use of agrichemicals is highly regulated. Government-issued permits for purchase and use of approved agrichemicals may be required. Significant penalties can result from misuse, including improper storage resulting in spillage. On farms, proper storage facilities and labeling, emergency clean-up equipment and procedures, and safety equipment and procedures for handling, application and disposal are often subject to mandatory standards and regulations. Usually, the regulations are carried out through the registration process.

For instance, bovine somatotropin, though widely used in the United States, is not approved in Canada and some other jurisdictions as there are concerns for the health of cows using it.


Sumerians from 4500 years ago have said to use insecticides in the form of sulfur compounds. Additionally, the Chinese from about 3200 years ago used mercury and arsenic compounds to control the body lice.[4]

Agrochemicals were introduced to protect crops from pests and enhance crop yields. The most common agrochemicals include pesticides and fertilizers.[5] Chemical fertilizers in the 1960s were responsible for the beginning of the "Green Revolution", where using the same surface of land using intensive irrigation and mineral fertilizers such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium has greatly increased food production.[6] Throughout the 1970s through 1980s, pesticide research continued into producing more selective agrochemicals.[4] Due to the adaptation of pests to these chemicals, more and new agrochemicals were being used, causing side effects in the environment.


Syngenta was the Chinese owned worldwide leader in agrochemical sales in 2013 at approximately US$10.9 billion, followed by Bayer CropScience, BASF, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, and then DuPont with about $3.6 billion.[7] It is still in the worldwide leading position based on sales of year 2019. Based on a statistics by statistica, In 2019, the agrochemical market worldwide was worth approximately $234.2 billion. This is expected to increase to more than $300 billion in 2025.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Agrochemicals Handbook from C.H.I.P.S." C.H.I.P.S.
  2. ^ "Agrochemicals and Security". University of Florida. Archived from the original on 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
  3. ^ "Agrochemicals: Types and their effects". worldofchemicals.com. February 2, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Unsworth, John (10 May 2010). "History of Pesticide Use". International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
  5. ^ "Agrochemical". 2 May 2017.
  6. ^ Carvalho, Fernando P. (2006). "Agriculture, pesticides, food security and food safety". Environmental Science & Policy. 9 (7–8). Elsevier BV: 685–692. Bibcode:2006ESPol...9..685C. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2006.08.002. ISSN 1462-9011.
  7. ^ Agropages.com Mar. 25, 2014 Top six agrochemical firms grew steady in 2013
  8. ^ Statista.com/ July. 6, 2021 Agricultural chemicals market value worldwide in 2018 and 2019 with a forecast from 2020 to 2025

External links[edit]