All Eyes On PGRs

As in every other segment of the industry, competition is on the rise in the plant growth regulator (PGR) market, especially with the emerging generic molecules coming on the market as primary tools go off patent. But more competition is good news for growers, with more options available to source active ingredients, as well as improved formulations, broadened application technology and increased technical support from companies vying for business. New patented chemistries also continue to be developed to meet market needs.

To assess the situation, we asked several reputable PGR suppliers for their take on the current status of PGRs as we know them, as well as what to expect in the future. 

What is your reaction to the increasing development of off-patent PGRs?

Chemtura: Reasonable alternatives are typically good for the industry in general. However, too many of the same PGRs fighting for the same market can dilute product value, sales revenue and, thereby, the resources needed for research to improve and support current products and to develop new and improved products for the future.

Valent: It’s a very competitive marketplace and Valent sees off-patent products increasing in all segments of the industry — not just PGRs but herbicides, fungicides, etc.

OHP: We certainly understand that growers need to look at anything that is going to improve their bottom line. But the ultimate cost of use oftentimes goes a lot deeper than that. It depends upon the overall service package the company offers. It depends upon what additional innovations or developments a company can bring, along with an active ingredient itself. 

How is your company addressing off-patent products?

Chemtura: We believe we have the best PGR technical expertise and trial database in the industry through many years of PGR development and support, provided to distributors and growers through our PGRx support platform, sales and TSS associates, and Chemtura’s investment in the academic community. This adds significant value to both Paczol and B-Nine.

Valent: Valent continues to focus on what we can do to provide value to our customer through such avenues as our professional sales representative, technical support from our field market development managers, educational programs, unique packaging and university research. The drive is to differentiate our products and our company by offering superior products and services.

OHP: PGRs are probably one of the most complex areas because often there’s as much applied knowledge as there is hard and fast rules for using PGRs. And obviously there’s been a significant amount of novel application methods of PGRs over the last couple of years. That’s driving innovation to use applications for all the PGRs along with it. 

How will off-patent PGR products affect crops and production cycles?

Chemtura: Assuming at least equal product purity, quality and other formulation characteristics, post-patent products should not affect crops or production cycles any differently than the original patented product. However, considering the power of PGRs and the cost of mistakes, growers need to be very careful and discerning in the products they use in their greenhouse and nursery operations.

Valent: Off-patent PGRs will have little to no influence on producing a crop. In most cases, the active ingredient is labeled and used by growers on the crop. 

What do you feel are the strongest PGR products on the market?

Chemtura: This can be looked at in two ways: 1) strongest in terms of versatility, in which case we would make a case for B-Nine, as it is an industry standard, easy to use (one rate range for all crops), phyto safe, a common denominator for tank mixing; 2) in terms of strongest activity, that would have to go to Sumagic — it has the lowest use rates and is active on all ornamental plants.

Valent: Valent’s Sumagic and Fascination are two exceptional PGRs. Sumagic produces a denser, more compact growth and darker green foliage, plus increased shelf life for plants. It can be used on a variety of crops from bedding plants to woody ornamentals to poinsettias. Fascination also significantly improves the shelf life and marketability of ornamental crops because it prevents leaves from yellowing and increases flower size and number.

OHP: It’s an issue of the entire value package that a product is providing, not just the active ingredients but the companies behind them. If we look at that, the leading PGRs in the marketplace today are the Bonzi brand, the B-Nine brand and the Cycocel brand. Those brands all contain leading active ingredients but they’re also supported by companies that service the products, optimize their use and continue developing new patterns for them.

Are growers more or less likely to use an off-patent product than a patented product?

Valent: Most growers will continue to use products that bring them value. And they will continue to use product that they are familiar with or have some comfort level with. PGRs are not something you just change from one day to another or from one crop to another. Most growers have learned how to use PGRs by diligently testing them for many years on many different crops under different environmental conditions.

Chemtura: Many growers prefer to use the original product but more are looking at post-patent alternatives for economic reasons.

OHP: Growers are going to look to products that will provide the greatest value and the greatest return for them. That being said, the lifeblood of this industry is new innovation, new varieties, new technology. But it’s got to have additional tech value and make sense economically. As new technology comes into the marketplace that is properly positioned and developed, growers are going to seek it out because it’s going to bring additional value to their bottom line. They’re going to compare that again to generic alternatives. But over time, it’s clear that the lifeblood of the industry is new development. 

Why is it important to continue adding new patented products to the marketplace?

Chemtura: Continued research and development is important with any chemicals. New and/or improved PGRs are required to address the changing needs of the grower community (new crops and varieties, new production cycles and methods).

Valent: New products are the lifeblood of any organization. Not only for a company’s survival but also for our customers’. New products offer new solutions and in the ornamental business, it is changing every day.

OHP: It brings innovation and we all are interested in new technologies to bring additional value. That only makes sense if it’s going to enhance a grower’s bottom line, to grow better and deliver a better product to the end user and do that more profitably.

Leave a Reply

More From Crop Inputs...
Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

April 14, 2018

Kemin Forms Distribution Partnership With Plant Products

Under the agreement, Plant Products will be a Kemin Crop Technologies’ distributor in the northeastern U.S.

Read More
Basewell-cuttings-from-Dummen

April 13, 2018

Dümmen Orange Debuts New Rooting Technology

Basewell bare-root cuttings feature advanced root development and no growing media, which allows products to ship to growers from off-shore production locations, ready to transplant directly into the finish container.

Read More
Irrigation-feature

April 10, 2018

New Tool Helps Greenhouse Growers Analyze Irrigation Water Quality

The University of Connecticut and University of Florida have partnered to launch the WaterQual tool as part of the CleanWateR3 research program.

Read More
Latest Stories
lucas-greenhouses-plant-roots-growing-mix

March 18, 2018

New Soil Amendment From Kemin Promotes More Efficient N…

Valena, a soil amendment sourced from a proprietary strain of Euglena gracilis (algae) rich in beta-glucan, is designed to support the growth of healthy and strong plants.

Read More

March 13, 2018

Greenhouse Biocontrol Goes Mainstream

Biological control has moved into the mainstream for greenhouse growers. And the timing couldn’t be better, as consumer demands for more sustainable production methods for the plants they buy are moving back upstream.

Read More
Jose-Milan-Bayer

February 11, 2018

Bayer Has New Turf and Ornamentals Global Market Manage…

Jose Milan will be focused on helping growers deal with regulatory issues, while promoting the environmental benefits the ornamentals industry offers.

Read More
Belchim Crop Protection

January 24, 2018

Engage Agro Now Doing Business as Belchim Crop Protecti…

For more than 30 years, Belchim has been providing agricultural customers internationally, including greenhouse growers, with more than 100 well-known products.

Read More
cuttings-facility

December 13, 2017

New Webinars Address Effective Propagation Techniques

e-Gro, an online clearing house for alerts about greenhouse disease, insect, environmental, physiological, and nutritional disorders, recently posted two new propagation-related webinars on YouTube.

Read More

December 4, 2017

Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Debuts as Roberta’s Finali…

On December 1, Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. in Waldron, IN, officially purchased C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI. The new identity of the company is now Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, according to a Dec. 1 letter to Raker’s customers, suppliers, and business partners from Vice President Susie Raker-Zimmerman. “There have been minimal changes in management and we will be providing the same products and services on which we have built our reputation in the industry,” Raker-Zimmerman said in the letter, which also announced the name change and new logo. The sale of C. Raker & Sons was announced in September . A series of events affecting Raker’s financial situation caused the need for the operation to find an alternate solution. Roberta’s had been a customer of Raker’s since 2011, and the fourth generation, family owned grower-retailer was a fan of Raker’s commitment to quality. The agreement to purchase C. […]

Read More
Biocontrols in a Greenhouse

November 27, 2017

4 Opportunities to Educate Yourself on IPM Practices in…

The Michigan State University Extension floriculture team has developed four greenhouse integrated pest management sessions that will be presented at the 2017 Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo in Grand Rapids, MI.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

November 11, 2017

OHP Announces Two New Ornamental Pest Management Tools

OHP recently added two new crop protection tools to its profile of biosolutions: a biological insecticide, and an ornamental fungicide.

Read More
OHP Biosolutions

September 26, 2017

OHP Acquired by AMVAC, But Will Continue to Operate As …

AMVAC has acquired OHP and its chemical and biological crop protection solutions for the greenhouse and nursery markets. The deal will close in early October, and there will be no changes to staff, products, or operations.

Read More
Hydroponics Michigan State Web

September 14, 2017

Hydroponic and Aquaponics Growers Face Possible Loss of…

The National Organic Standards Board is considering recommending that USDA revoke the ability for hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic, and other container-based growing methods to be certified organic, according to an update from growers at Upstart University.

Read More
Aphids

July 7, 2017

New Tools for Your Crop Protection Arsenal in the Green…

Over the past few months, crop protection companies have developed several new products designed to help you manage a wide range of insect and disease pests. Here’s a look at some of them.

Read More
Yellow Stick Card for thrips

July 5, 2017

Tips From a Top 100 Grower for Effective Thrips Control

A combination of conventional materials and biologicals can help provide season-long management of thrips in hanging baskets.

Read More
Primula acaulis, Botrytis, Disease, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies

May 30, 2017

BioWorks Launches New Biofungicide for Botrytis Control

BotryStop was developed for the control of pathogens such as Botrytis, Sclerotinia, and Monilinia in several crops, including ornamentals.

Read More
Adult Aphidoletes in web - Feature

May 27, 2017

How to Overcome Biocontrol Challenges by Thinking Outsi…

With a little creative thinking and adjustments to your strategy, you can overcome your greenhouse biocontrol challenges.

Read More
Cannabis Seedling

May 20, 2017

Biocontrols: A Practical Option for Cannabis

With limited options for chemical pest control, cannabis growers are incorporating biocontrols into their integrated pest management programs. More education will cement this solution as a viable option in this emerging market.

Read More
Christmas Cactus

May 18, 2017

How to Increase Branching and Flower Bud Production of …

Based on research completed at North Carolina State University, here are some methods for increasing branching and flower bud production of Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii).

Read More
Herbicide Drift in the Greenhouse

May 15, 2017

How to Identify and Mitigate Herbicide Contamination in…

Herbicides applied off-site or within the greenhouse can significantly damage ornamental and edible crops. Beth Scheckelhoff, an Extension Educator for Greenhouse Systems at The Ohio State University, provides some examples and basic recommendations for mitigating and preventing herbicide contamination and injury in the future.

Read More

May 4, 2017

Bayer Altus Update: Neonic Insect Control Alternative N…

Altus, a butenolide class insecticide with the active ingredient flupyradifurone, will be available beginning May 1, and is labeled for greenhouse and nursery use on ornamental plants, vegetable transplants, and indoor vegetable production.

Read More