Despite prolonged rainfall, weed resistance issues, and higher manufacturing costs, the U.S. crop protection industry remained strong in 2013, posting an 8.2 percent increase over the previous year.

Net manufacturers’ sales within the crop protection industry totaled $9.2 billion, according to the recently published Crop Protection Manufacturers Report: A Strategic Market Analysis of the U.S. Crop Protection Industry by the worldwide consulting and research firm Kline & Company.

In anticipation of a healthy planting season last year, corn growers purchased high inventories of herbicides. Yet excessive spring wetness in the Corn Belt and throughout the country caused almost two million acres to be fallowed. It deferred spring planting and forced some corn growers to switch to short maturity soybean varieties.

The wet conditions reduced insect pressure which caused the insecticide segment to decline at a double-digit percentage while promoting disease pressure and modestly increasing fungicide sales.

However, many growers did not start fungicide applications as the wet weather was soon replaced by summer droughts.

The plant growth regulators segment declined slightly as it heavily targets the cotton markets where planted acreage decreased nearly 16 percent last year.

“The wet weather conditions were ideal for growers to utilize the value of seed treatments,” said Joseph Prochaska of Kline’s Agriculture and Specialty Pesticides Practice.

“The feedback from growers planting treated seed was that they saw very good control when faced with additional pressure from disease and insects,” Prochaska said.

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Bayer and Syngenta saw excellent market share gains as recent product introductions performed well during the year.

Kline is a worldwide consulting and research firm which has served the management consulting and market research needs of organizations in the chemicals, materials, energy, life sciences, and consumer products industries for more than 50 years.