As a category, seed sales continue to show year-over-year improvement as evidenced in CropLife 100 retailer research. 2010 sales reached a new revenue benchmark of 15% of total revenues, up from 13% in 2009.
For the most part, retailers are confident seed will continue to play a bigger role in their sales going forward. “The complexity and cost of seed is giving us a chance to show off expertise that we have developed,” says Rod Silver, president of Mid-West Fertilizer, Paola, KS.
“Seed should be our No. 2 revenue generator behind fertilizer, but it’s been tougher to grow that business than I ever imagined,” says Gregg Johnson, agronomy manager at Reynolds United Coop, Reynolds, ND. “In our area, there are still a lot of farmer-dealers competing against us, and grower-neighbors have felt an obligation to buy seed from them. There are plenty of challenges, but our goal is to have seed overtake crop protection in the future.”
Meanwhile, seed companies already in an all-out market battle for market share will be turning it up a notch this winter and spring.