Acquisitions, pending bans, product expansions and health and environmental concerns are at the top of what is going on in the agrochemical industry. Here are some of the latest agrochemical headlines worth following:

Global Fertilizer Firm Acquires Horticultural Alliance

Italpollina recently acquired Horticultural Alliance Inc., a Sarasota, Florida-based agrochemical company that specializes in bio-beneficial microbes and soil bacteria, bio-fertilize and mycorrhizae sales. The acquisition of Horticultural Alliance fits into the international fertilizer company’s portfolio of holdings as Italpollina also produces biostimulants, beneficial microbials and organic fertilizers. While Italpollina operates in more than 80 countries, the global fertilizer firm has only one North American headquarters based in Indiana.

Acquiring Horticultural Alliance is a strategic move on Italpollina’s part as it gives the international fertilizer company a second location in North America. The acquisition is also an opportunity for its customers to expand via an organic approach with Horticultural Alliance’s expertise and experience. It’s news that agrochemical industry leaders should pay attention to as Italpollina continues to expand its operations and competitive advantage.

California Moves to “Cancel” Chlorpyrifos With Official Ban

California state officials are moving to outlaw the use of chlorpyrifos. The decision behind the ban follows research that links chlorpyrifos to harmful brain development in infants. California-based farmers are able to use this widely-used pesticide on more than 60 types of crops, including almonds and grapes. However, the ban aims to eliminate the use of chlorpyrifos by making it illegal in California. This move follows a recent ban of the pesticide by the state of New York. As the most productive agricultural state in the United States, a ban on chlorpyrifos can impact mean financial losses for farmers and chlorpyrifos producers. However, the state has set aside $5.7 million to help farmers transition to other safer alternatives.

Tradecorp Brings New Fungicide Product to Spain With Boltex C Registration

Agrochemical company Tradecorp expands its product offerings in Spain with the registration of its new fungicide product Boltex C. This fungicide will help farmers control weeds and treat mildew in tomatoes. Tradecorp’s new product consists of copper hydroxide and metalaxyl-M, which is effective on tomatoes, eggplants and other crops. With the registration of Boltex C in Spain, Tradecorp continues to meet customer demands.

Neonicotinoid Safety Concerns Extend Beyond Bees

Research has shown that the toxicity levels of neonicotinoids make them as much as 10,000 times more toxic than the banned pesticide DDT. However, a recent Scientific Reports study suggests that the adverse impacts of neonicotinoid extend beyond bees. The study links the widely-used neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, to deformities in large mammals, including pronounced overbites in deer. Neonicotinoid safety has been a concern among scientists with research extending this concern to human and environmental health. A 2017 Scientific Reports study indicated that neonicotinoids may cause harmful outcomes in migrating sparrows, such as delaying the birds’ sense of direction and causing body mass loss.

Scientists also have found neonicotinoids in surface waters, rodents, untreated plants and even certified organic food. The scientist believe exposure to this class of pesticides can come from various sources, including runoff, pesticide drift via the wind and exposure to sprayed seeds. It’s unclear how neonicotinoids impact humans due to a lack of substantial research. However, it’s important for agrochemical industry leaders and investors to follow the development of this research as more evidence highlighting the adverse aspects of neonicotinoid use can threaten production and investments in these pesticide products.