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...

April 28, 2016

Holistic, Integrated Approach To Pest Control Rooted In Research

Greenhouse growers have been practicing integrated pest management for decades, but it’s becoming increasingly more important with the continued scrutiny of conventional pest control by a number of “regulators” — government, retail, and consumers. I just returned from Meister Media Worldwide’s Biocontrols USA 2016 Conference, in Monterey, CA, at the beginning of March this year, which served 450 attendees and 50 exhibiting supplier companies. It’s clear from the presentations and the growing attendance at this specialized event — now only in its second year — that use of biocontrols in IPM will continue to be adopted widely, as more growers get past their personal hurdles of doubt and intimidation, and embrace a new way to approach pest and disease control. Many growers think of using biocontrols as an all-or-nothing approach, but ultimately, IPM is about balance. Growers will need to continue to focus on IPM, integrating chemistry with biology, because […]

Read More
Drip irrigated citrus liner

April 27, 2016

Unclog Drip Emitters In Your Greenhouse

This is the first article in a series of case studies designed to help growers reduce, remediate, and recycle irrigation water as part of a multi-state research grant (CleanWateR3.org).

Read More
Fine Americas Website Feature Image

April 26, 2016

Fine Americas Offers A Digital Resource For Plant Growth Regulator Questions

The blog section of Fine America’s website is updated regularly, with input from both technical managers and independent researchers

Read More
Latest Stories
Cicada (Greg Hoover, Penn State)

April 26, 2016

Cicadas Set To Emerge In Several Eastern States This Sp…

While there’s no immediate cause for alarm, experts say the cicada’s egg-laying process can damage woody ornamentals and make them vulnerable to diseases.

Read More
Parisitic Wasp Aphidius colemani

April 25, 2016

Plant Growth Regulator Use Can Affect Biological Pest C…

The use of plant growth regulators may negatively influence the outcome of biological control programs, according to researchers at North Carolina State University.

Read More
Beneficial Insectary Orius insidiosus

April 22, 2016

Beneficial Insectary Increasing Production Of Three Bio…

The company is now producing Orius insidiosus, Dalotia coriaria, and Dicyphus hesperus at its California facility, reducing the transit time of perishable biocontrols between producer and grower.

Read More

April 21, 2016

Michigan State University Offers Tips On Greenhouse Soi…

Improper pH and higher than adequate nutrient levels are among the many reasons for regular soil testing.

Read More
Parasitized aphid mummies, ladybird beetle larvae

April 18, 2016

4 Things You Need To Know About Implementing Biological…

Biocontrols are useful alternatives to traditional pesticides that provide effective pest control in the greenhouse. Here are four ways to get started successfully.

Read More
John Wendorf Bayer Ornamentals

April 14, 2016

Bayer’s New Ornamentals Business Manager Aims To Help G…

John Wendorf, who previously managed BFG Supply’s grower division, says when Bayer launches into the ornamentals market this November, growers will have access to a wealth of resources, including a dedicated team focused on ornamentals growers.

Read More
Emerald Ash Borer

March 22, 2016

Canada Implements New Voluntary Biosecurity Standard Fo…

The voluntary standard is designed to protect the greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture industries from invasive plant pests.

Read More

March 22, 2016

EPA Approves Syngenta’s Mainspring GNL Insecticide For …

Featuring the active ingredient cyantraniliprole, Mainspring GNL provides broad-spectrum control of key pests, such as thrips, whiteflies, aphids, caterpillars, leafminers, and leaf-feeding beetles.

Read More
Black Root Rot on Vinca

March 15, 2016

How To Identify Different Root Rots In The Greenhouse

Root rots can cause similar symptoms on hosts. Here are some tips for scouting in your greenhouse.

Read More
One symptom of Botrytis blight is gray, fuzzy sporulation on foliage and flowers, similar to that shown on the flower of this hibiscus

March 11, 2016

Manage Botrytis With These Cultural And Fungicide Contr…

High relative humidity and low temperatures in the greenhouse open the way for Botrytis to develop on plants. A mix of cultural and fungicide control options will help you manage this common disease effectively.

Read More
Biocontrols and beneficials absolutely can be used in outdoor production, with the use of banker plant systems

March 8, 2016

France-Based InVivo Acquiring Bioline, Syngenta’s Bioco…

Bioline, a subsidiary of Syngenta, specializes in the production and marketing of biological control agents, and in particular macroorganisms active against insect pests in fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Read More

March 5, 2016

Prevent The Spread Of Disease In Irrigation Water

Water-mold pathogens cause significant crop losses and reduce floriculture crop quality. Take measures in your greenhouse to prevent the spread of diseases like Phytophthora and Pythium.

Read More
Bayer Greenhouse Ribbon Cutting

March 1, 2016

Bayer Opens New Greenhouse Research Facility In West Sa…

The $12 million facility will feature two new high-tech greenhouses that will be used in the development of new solutions in vegetable seeds and biologicals.

Read More

February 20, 2016

Hydrogel Technology Means Growers And Their Customers C…

Water and nutrient management are critical elements for quality plant production in the greenhouse. Maintaining the right amounts of available moisture and fertilizer at all times can be pretty labor intensive, but there are tools available to help you keep these inputs at optimum levels as efficiently as possible. Recently, we visited Evonik Industries’ North Carolina production plant for to see how one of these products — Stockosorb — is made, how it works, and learn the benefits of incorporating these tools in your own operation. Learn more about Evonik Industries’ Stockosorb hydrogel product on the Stockosorb website.  

Read More

February 17, 2016

Why It’s Important To Stay One Step Ahead Of Thri…

Keep thrips populations in check and avoid pesticide resistance by using spray and drench products known for their effectiveness.

Read More
Rose-Rosette-Knockout-May-2013-A-Windham_featured

February 16, 2016

University Of Florida Researchers Join Multi-State Batt…

The collaborative effort to stem off the threat of rose rosette involves early detection and the development of new compounds to help plants defend themselves.

Read More

February 12, 2016

Managing Air Temperatures For Basil Growth And Develop…

Iowa State University researchers determine if increases in air temperatures can increase growth and shorten production times for basil.

Read More

February 12, 2016

AmericanHort Applauds USDA Announcement Of Almost $60 M…

The funding from the 2014 Farm Bill will be used to cover projects such as plant certification, clean stock for high-value crops, and invasive insects and diseases.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]