Agrochemicals is a term used to describe a broad range of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that are utilized within the agricultural sectors to manage ecosystems. Simple forms of agrochemicals have been used for thousands of years (as early as 2,500 B.C.) for pest control and to improve crop yields.
Some of the first recorded uses of agrochemicals were found in Sumer - the earliest known civilization in the historical region of southern Mesopotamia, now modern-day southern Iraq - where farmers had been found to have used Sulphur (S) compounds to control the population of insects and help avoid famine as a result of severe pest infestations.
As the development and manufacture of synthetic chemicals improved and progressed, this hugely improved pesticide processes. These improvements have helped accommodate the planet’s ever-increasing global population and the resulting increase in demands for food. Despite this progress however, it is estimated that up to 40% of the world’s crops are ruined by diseases and plant pests, even with the improved efficiency and application of modern pesticides.
Types of Agrochemicals
Agrochemicals are used conscientiously and actively in order to ensure that the global food supply is adequately maintained and is, of course, safe for mass consumption. Common forms of agrochemicals include:
- Synthetic fertilizers – these are designed to saturate soils with nutrients, thus encouraging crops to grow. A common example of this is ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3).
- Pesticides – these specific chemicals are designed to destroy harmful organisms such as weeds, insects or fungi, therefore reducing the risk of spoiled crop yields.
- Growth hormones – these synthetic chemicals are designed to increase the rate of growth in crops and animals.
- Soil conditioners – these are specifically designed to condition soils with high sodium (Na) contents, therefore improving planting conditions. A common example of this is gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O).
- Liming agents and acidifiers – these chemicals are engineered to adjust the pH levels of soils where specific types of crops require this.
New agrochemical methods are being engineered all the time and current developments include crops that produce their own insecticides and crops that are synthetically-resistant to herbicides.
How are Agrochemicals Made?
Methods of producing agrochemicals can differ greatly, especially given the sheer range of agrochemicals available today. These generally rely on large-scale, industrial production processes that start with specially developed, custom chemical building blocks.
Agrochemical Solutions from Jayhawk
Jayhawk is a highly specialized producer of a wide and varied range of fine chemicals and crosslinkers designed for chemical synthesis. The company has a strong, globally-recognized reputation and is well known for its customer-focused approach, working with customers at every stage of the chemical synthesis and manufacture process to make sure that excellent quality control standards are adhered to.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Jayhawk Fine Chemicals Corporation.
For more information on this source, please visit Jayhawk Fine Chemicals Corporation.