Over the past few decades, advanced polymeric materials have gained popularity in the development of sustainable agricultural applications. Smart polymeric systems have extensively contributed to the agricultural industry by increasing the efficiency of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers by facilitating controlled release systems and, therefore, enabling lower doses to be used. Superabsorbent polymeric materials have been used as soil conditioners to control the impact of drought, whereas polycationic polymers have been utilized for plant bioengineering. These functions in the environment are complemented by applications within plants as part of the developing range of tools for genetically transforming plants in order to increase productivity and disease resistance. This Review will summarize and discuss the recent developments in the design and application of advanced polymeric systems for precision agriculture related applications. The design criteria of the polymers employed to date, such as polymer structure, as well as the properties of polymer nanoparticles including shape and size will be discussed, and the key findings in the related area will be highlighted. Finally, we will identify future directions for the exploration of functional polymers with the ultimate aim of advancing sustainable agriculture.
- functional polymers
- controlled agrochemical delivery system
- superabsorbent material
- plant bioengineering
- sustainable agriculture