CropLife 100: The Return Of The Need For Seed

For most categories within the CropLife 100, 2013 was a better-than-expected year in terms of sales growth. However, for the seed category, this year marked a return to what market watchers would term “the good old days.”

To appreciate this statement more fully, let’s take a brief look back at past 13 years. At the beginning of the 21st century, the seed category was a definite growth curve. During the 2000 CropLife 100 annual survey of the nation’s top retailers, respondents reported that their overall seed sales were just over the $800 million mark. But even with this sales figure under its belt, the seed category only represented less than 8% of all crop input/service revenues at the leading ag retail organizations. Still, sales were on the upswing and the future for the seed category looked bright.

And it was. Over the next decade, the total revenues for the seed category within the CropLife 100 steadily grew. By the time the 2009 CropLife 100 survey was completed, the seed category had increased its overall sales volume to $2.6 billion. Market share was almost double its 2000 mark at 13%. More significantly in 2009, the rest of the crop inputs and services that made up the CropLife 100 sales were down or flat. “Looking at the bigger picture, the success of seed in 2009 effectively cancelled out sales losses in a few other segments,” said the CropLife 100 write-up from the December 2009 edition.

But as the old saying goes, “all good things come to an end.” For the seed category, the first hints of a revenue slowdown appeared during the 2011. Although seed sales grew 13% for the year to $3.4 billion, this percentage increase didn’t keep pace with that for the overall marketplace. As a consequence, the seed category witnessed its first market share drop among crop inputs/services, from 15% to 14%.

This slow growth rate continued to plague the seed category during the 2012 calendar year as well. Last year, seed revenue at the nation’s top ag retailers increased only 6%, topping $3.6 billion. And again, as in 2011, the seed category ended the year losing another 1% in market share, dropping to 13%.

Happy Days Are Here Again

In 2013, the seed category had a much better year, to say the least. According to CropLife 100 survey respondents, their seed revenues grew from $3.6 billion in 2012 to slightly more than $4 billion. This 11% year-over-year increase led all crop input/service categories in terms of market growth. Better still, the seed category grew fast enough vs. the rest of the marketplace to re-gain 1% market share to 14%.

Among the three components that make up the seed category — traditional seed, biotech seed and seed treatment — seed treatment was the fastest-growing during 2013. According to 78% of survey respondents, their seed treatment sales increased 1% to more than 5% for the year compared with 2012. An additional 15% said their seed treatment revenue was the same as during the prior year. Only 7% of respondents reported that their seed treatment numbers had dropped in 2013.

Biotech seed also performed well in 2013 for CropLife 100 ag retailers. According to the survey, 66% of respondents witnessed sales increases of 1% to more than 5% in this sector, with another 23% reporting their sales in this area were flat. Only 11% said their biotech seed revenues had dropped in 2013.

Even traditional seed performed better than in recent years during 2013. According to 35% of CropLife 100 retailers, their traditional seed sales increased 1% to more than 5% for the year. This marked a significant improvement from 2012, when only 29% of respondents reported a sales gain in this sector.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories

MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More

Trending Articles

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More

Latest News

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More