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Seaweed Fertilizer Development History and Market

Seaweed fertilizer history

What's Seaweed Fertilizer?

Seaweed fertilizer is a marine biological product prepared by processing seaweed through the application of chemical, physical, biological, and other technologies. It contains plant hormones, alginate, fucoidan, brown algae polyphenols, and amino acids unique to seaweed organisms, iodine, mannitol, minerals, and other seaweed active substances.

While providing nutrients for crop growth, it can also increase crop yields and improve the quality of fruits and vegetables through mechanisms such as improving soil, triggering seed germination, promoting rooting and crop growth, and preserving flowers and fruits. It has high application value in agricultural production.

Seaweed Resources

Seaweed is distributed in vast oceans around the world. Based on the large amount of biologically active substances it contains, marine macroalgae such as Ascophylla nodosum, macroalgae, kelp, and kelp have long been used in agricultural production around the world.

It contains more than 40 kinds of mineral elements such as IK, Mg ZnCaFe, etc. that are unmatched by terrestrial plants, as well as rich plant growth regulators such as seaweed polysaccharides, proteins, polyphenolic amino acids, highly unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins, which can regulate the balance of endogenous hormones in plants. , Stimulate the production of non-specific active factors in plants and promote crop growth. It can not only improve fertilizer utilization and enhance crop photosynthesis, but also enhance crop resistance to drought, cold and disease, promote early maturity of crops, increase flower and fruit setting rates, Improve quality and increase output.

History of Seaweed Fertilizer

1. First Stage

Seaweed has been used in agricultural production since ancient Roman times, being added directly to the soil or used as compost to improve the soil.

The ancient British also added seaweed to the soil as fertilizer, mixing seaweed directly with the soil, and some mixed seaweed with straw, peat or other organic matter to make fertilizer.

2. Second Stage

In the mid-12th century, European coastal countries such as Britain, France, and Norway began to widely use seaweed as fertilizer. In the 16th century, people in Canada, France, Japan and other places collected seaweed to make compost. Some areas in South Wales, England and Germany used rotten seaweed or seaweed ash from the shore to grow various crops, with good results.

By the 17th century, the French government recognized the value of seaweed in fertilizers explicitly stipulated the harvesting time and collection conditions of seaweed in coastal areas, and vigorously promoted seaweed as soil fertilizer.

3. Third Stage

In 1949, as a new product of seaweed fertilizer, seaweed liquid fertilizer was launched in the UK, opening a new chapter in seaweed fertilizer. By the 1980s and 1990s, seaweed fertilizer, as a natural fertilizer, had received unprecedented attention and development in developed countries in Europe and the United States.

In 1949, the British Dr. Milton invented the technology of liquefying seaweed to prepare fertilizer. (This is where maxicrop seaweed fertilizer was born.) According to Dr. Milton’s report, if seaweed is used directly in the soil, even if the seaweed is finely ground, its inhibitory effect on plant growth will last for 15 weeks.

In addition to the Maxicrop brand of seaweed liquid fertilizer, some other companies have also begun to commercially produce seaweed fertilizer. Around 1962, Algea (now Valagro) in Norway used an alkaline process similar to Maxicrop to prepare seaweed fertilizer from Ascophyllum nodosum. France developed a unique method of cryogenically freezing ground seaweed in the early 1970s, which was later commercialized by the company Goemar. The Canadian company Acadian Seaplants began commercially producing seaweed extracts from Ascophyllum nodosum in the 1990s. Australia also began the production and application of seaweed fertilizer in the 1970s.

Current Situation

Currently, approximately 550,000 tons of seaweed are used to produce seaweed fertilizer globally each year. After more than half a century of innovative development, the types of seaweed fertilizer products have continued to increase and their quality has improved day by day, and they have attracted people’s attention in agricultural production.

The research, development and application of seaweed fertilizers have gradually become a hot topic. The application of seaweed extracts in agricultural production has been recognized by many countries and international organizations. North American OMIR certification, EU IMO certification, etc. clearly allow seaweed biological products to be used as soil improvement substances and fertilizers, and are allowed to be used to control crop diseases and pests. Prevention and control as well as livestock and poultry feed additives.

With the popularization of seaweed and seaweed extracts in agricultural production and the expansion of market scale, the production and application technology of seaweed fertilizers have also been improved, while improving production efficiency and application efficacy. In 2006, the global market size of seaweed biological products was approximately 15 million tons and approximately US$59.93 billion. According to the statistics of the seaweed fertilizer market with seaweed as the main raw material by New Ag International magazine, the economic value of seaweed fertilizer in the European market in 2012 was about 2 to 4 billion euros, and the global market was at least 8 billion euros, accounting for the entire agricultural input market. Seaweed fertilizers account for 2% of the total (including the sterilizing and sterilizing fertilizer market), and there is huge room for development.

Entering the 21st century, the rapid development of the biostimulants field has provided a new direction for the application of seaweed in agricultural production. Facing the future, the large-scale production and application of seaweed fertilizers and biostimulants prepared from seaweed will contribute to the in-depth development and comprehensive utilization of seaweed biological resources, promote the production of green organic food, ensure the quality and safety of agricultural products, and promote Farmers’ incomes increase, agricultural efficiency increases, and the ecological environment is improved and protected.

Major Companies


kelpak seaweed

Kelpak is a natural seaweed liquid extracted from the South African giant algae Ecklonia maxima, which grows in clean, cold, nutrient-rich waters along the Atlantic coast of South Africa, through patented cell high-pressure bursting technology. The product is rich in natural plant hormones such as auxin and cytokinin, organic nutrients such as amino acids, algin, mannitol, polyphenols, polysaccharides, vitamins, and inorganic elements such as phosphorus and potassium, with more than 60 beneficial ingredients.

Technical indicators

  • Organic matter ≥50g/L
  • P2O5+K2O≥90g/L
  • B≥4g/L



Maxicrop Seaweed is made from the highest quality seaweed harvested from 12,500 miles of Norwegian coastline.

Maxicrop Liquid Seaweed provides over 70 minerals, vitamins and beneficial enzymes that promote plant health and production. This Norwegian seaweed extract can be used throughout the growing season including during propagation to boost cutting/transplant health. It is ready to dilute in water and requires no pH adjustment.

Ocean Organics

ocean organics

Ocean Organics processes a variety of North Atlantic cold-water seaweeds—the toughest plants on earth. The daily life cycles of these seaweeds are under tremendous pressure.

In the summer, they can withstand temperatures in excess of 100°F when exposed and quickly tolerate freezing water temperatures when submerged. In the winter, temperatures drop below -10°F and water temperatures drop below freezing.
Seaweed goes through this cycle twice a day. Under these extreme conditions, naturally occurring carbohydrates, polysaccharides, organic acids, amino acids, macro- and micronutrients play a key role in improving stress tolerance and survival of plants.

Iffco Sagarika

IFFCO sagarika

Sagarika is an organic bio-stimulant manufactured through a globally patented process technology from red & brown marine algae. The product has naturally occurring plant growth regulators such as Auxins, Cytokinins and Gibberellins, essential amino acids, macro & micronutrients.

Down to Earth

Down to earth fertilizer

Down To Earth™ was founded in 1977 in Eugene, Oregon, to meet the needs of growing U.S. consumers seeking alternatives to plastic and synthetic materials. At the forefront of the organic movement that flourished in the 80s of the 20th century, we began producing fertilizer in storefront stores to provide a natural, economical option for our customers’ gardens.

Acadian Seaplants Limited


Beijing Leili Group

Beijing Leili Group

Leili Group is a pioneer and leading enterprise in China’s seaweed biostimulant industry. The company’s main products are humic acid, seaweed fertilizer, amino acids, potassium humate, trace elements and other five products. Relying on marine resources, it has developed more than 100 varieties of products in 10 categories. With decades of experience, high-quality products and high-quality services, the company has become one of the leading enterprises in Asia and one of the top 5 seaweed fertilizer manufacturers in the world.

Dora Agri

Dora Agri Seaweed

Dora Agri has been committed to producing products that are in line with organic agriculture, using pollution-free deep-sea seaweed as raw materials and low-temperature enzymatic extraction. At present, seaweed series products have met the American OMRI organic standards.

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