Top 100 Ag Retailers Experience Strong Year In Crop Protection Sales

The ag retail marketplace has witnessed plenty of ups and downs over the past five years: The Great Recession happened, which by extension led to lots of grower-customers forgoing fertilizer application work during 2008 and 2009; the number of herbicide-resistant weeds continued to multiple at an alarming rate; and the agricultural industry experienced its worst drought since the late 1980s, to name just a few.

Through all these changes, however, the one ag retail industry constant has been the crop protection products category losing overall market share. At times, it seemed as if nothing could stem this downward slide.

But as it turns out, all the category needed was a lot of rain to turn its fortunes.

According to the 2013 CropLife 100 survey, the crop protection products category had its best year in more than a decade. Overall, sales for the sector were up almost 8% to $8.5 billion. Furthermore, for the first time since the 21st century began, the category managed to grow its overall market share, up 1% to 29%.

When asked why 2013 has turned into a positive year for the crop protection products category, virtually every CropLife 100 respondent credited one factor: Rain. “This was one of the rainiest springs ever for many parts of the country,” says Amy Asmus, co-owner of Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA. “And with this much water coming down and sometimes sitting in the fields, there was more disease and insect pressures than growers have seen in many, many years. Naturally, this translated into more crop protection products being used for control.”

Fungicides In The Field

The numbers for the CropLife 100 survey bear this out. For example, according to respondents, their fungicide sales saw a significant uptick during 2013. Based upon the data, 68% of CropLife 100 retailers recorded fungicide revenue increases during the year — an improvement of 16% from the 2012 numbers. And for the most part, grower-customers were apparently using these fungicide applications even if they didn’t have a problem in their fields. According to respondents, 82% of their customers were applying fungicides as a preventive measure to protect their crops. This was a full 4% higher than the number of grower-customers who used fungicide application as a preventive option during the 2012 growing season.

For insecticides, the picture was a little different. In 2012, 74% of CropLife 100 retailers reported that their insecticide sales had increased from the year before, with another 16% reporting no change in their overall revenues in this segment. According to the 2013 survey, these numbers weren’t significantly different. This year, 72% of CropLife 100 retailers said their insecticide sales had grown, with 6% recording no increases from 2012.

As for the final crop protection product segment — herbicides — 2013 was a bit worse than 2012 had been. According to 78% of 2013 CropLife 100 retailers, their herbicides sales for the year were up vs. 2012. However, this represented a 4% drop from the number of ag retailers that reported herbicide revenue gains from the season before. Furthermore, 16% of respondents in the 2013 survey said their herbicide sales had actually dropped from 2012. This compared with a tally of 9% of 2012 ag retailers that experienced a herbicide sales decline.

Hope For The Future

Despite this poor performance in 2013, most CropLife 100 ag retailers believe that the herbicides segment of the crop protection products business has the most promising future in terms of market penetration. The reason for this is simple: The continued spread of herbicide-resistant weeds. According to most recent data, there are at least 14 species of weeds that show single or multiple forms of herbicides resistance spread out across hundreds of thousands of farmland in more than 30 states. And new varieties seem to be showing up each month, according to many weed researchers.

CropLife 100 ag retailers have noted this problem in their annual survey results. According to the 2013 survey, 77% of respondents say that herbicide-resistant weeds are a major issue for grower-customers in all or some of their crop fields. Another 20% of those surveyed say these types of weeds are at least a minor problem for their customers. Only 3% report no herbicide-resistant weed issues in their areas of the country.

According to CropLife 100 retailers, these weeds will present a major challenge for the industry going forward. “We’re going to have to start re-educating some growers,” said Jeff Nagel, agronomist for Ceres Solutions, Terre Haute, IN, in the recent Managing Weed Resistance report, published by CropLife® magazine. “It’s really a shift toward a more ‘systems approach’ to weed management.”

And this should translate into more and different herbicides being used in the coming years to combat this issue.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Top 100 Ag Retailers Experience Strong Year In Crop Protection Sales

Crop Inputs Stories

Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To Evaluate Economic Impact Of Soil Health Practices
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research has announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify Read More
Young soybean field
HerbicidesLiquid Formulation Valor EZ Herbicide Available For 2017
December 1, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has released Valor EZ; a liquid formulation of the company’s leading herbicide, Valor. Named Valor EZ Herbicide Read More
Corn
InsecticidesMajor Review Finds Neonic Poses Low Risk To Aquatic Invertebrates
November 28, 2016
A major new ecotoxicological review and risk assessment has been published in the peer-reviewed literature and concluded that registered crop Read More
FertilizerNutrient Management, Conservation Among Topics Covered At Indiana CCA Conference
November 23, 2016
Certified crop advisers, consultants, farmers, agribusiness professionals and students will learn more about nutrient management, soil and water conservation, pest Read More
Trending Articles
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsanto Merger
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
STS16 2017
SprayersHagie Manufacturing Releases 2017 STS16 Sprayer To Market
November 16, 2016
Hagie Manufacturing LLC’s largest full season applicator is now available with enhancements for the 2017 model year. Hagie is officially Read More
Wilco
CropLife 100Valley Agronomics, Wilco-Winfield To Form New Agronomy Joint Venture
November 11, 2016
Valley Agronomics LLC, headquartered in Rupert, ID, is a joint venture between Valley Wide Cooperative and Winfield Solutions, LLC. Wilco-Winfield, Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute Issues Statement On The U.S. Elections
November 10, 2016
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn has issued the following statement on the results of the 2016 elections: “TFI Read More
Latest News
ManagementCorn and soy planting update; Takeaways from Climate Co…
December 2, 2016
AgriBusiness Global Editor Dave Frabotta Joins Paul Schrimpf for a discussion of global corn and soybean planting trends, and a Read More
Radish cover crop taproot
Crop InputsSoil Health Institute, Datu Research Receive Grant To E…
December 1, 2016
The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Datu Research has announced a $626,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation to quantify Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
ManagementAg Industry Comes Together To Address Climate Change
December 1, 2016
Addressing climate change — and more specifically, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture — can only be achieved through collective Read More
Young soybean field
HerbicidesLiquid Formulation Valor EZ Herbicide Available For 201…
December 1, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has released Valor EZ; a liquid formulation of the company’s leading herbicide, Valor. Named Valor EZ Herbicide Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
ManagementThe Value Of Cooperatives In Modern Agriculture
December 1, 2016
Editor’s Note: Jaxon Mullinnix of  Lone Tree, IA, was recently named the Iowa state winner of the 2017 GROWMARK essay Read More
AGCO Operator of the Year Tony Kornder
SprayersAGCO Names Tony Kornder Operator Of The Year
December 1, 2016
AGCO Corp. names Tony Kornder with Genesis Growing Solutions in Le Sueur, MN, the 11th annual Operator of the Year. Read More
Chris Henney OABA
ManagementOABA Industry Conference To Provide Outlook For Future …
November 29, 2016
The upcoming Ohio AgriBusiness Association Industry Conference is packed with widely-respected speakers and industry professionals, sharing their expertise on a Read More
Corn
InsecticidesMajor Review Finds Neonic Poses Low Risk To Aquatic Inv…
November 28, 2016
A major new ecotoxicological review and risk assessment has been published in the peer-reviewed literature and concluded that registered crop Read More
EquipmentGSI Details New Grain Drying Efficiency System for Coop…
November 28, 2016
Grain elevators and ag co-ops are always looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency to help improve profitability. For Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
AGCO AgControl system
Precision AgPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
November 28, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
ARA
Eric SfiligojTaking The Industry’s Pulse At ARA
November 28, 2016
When most of you read this particular column, many of the industry’s key folks will probably be spending at least Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls …
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
FertilizerNutrient Management, Conservation Among Topics Covered …
November 23, 2016
Certified crop advisers, consultants, farmers, agribusiness professionals and students will learn more about nutrient management, soil and water conservation, pest Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMissouri Governor Meets With Bayer CEO To Discuss Monsa…
November 21, 2016
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Bayer AG global headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, on November 18 to discuss the proposed Bayer-Monsanto Read More
Arysta LifeScience
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Forms Alliance With Beem Biologics
November 21, 2016
As part of its recently announced strategy to become a leader in high-value, high-growth specialty market segments in the crop Read More
DuPont sign
Crop InputsDuPont To End Pension Contribution For Active Employees
November 18, 2016
DuPont will no longer contribute to active employees’ pension plans, a move that will affect the retirement of 13,000 workers, Read More