Most CropLife 100 retailers don’t feel threatened by Internet sales, but some do resent the pressure the technology can put on prices.
“I would say there’s times when the Internet probably cost us margin,” says Tim McArdle, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brandt Consolidated, Springfield, IL.
He’s noticed that companies will post prices on inputs, especially chemicals, that fall below Brandt’s costs. “Growers will use that to beat you down on price,” he says. “It creates some problems, but at the end of the day, the farmer really wants to buy his inputs locally where he’s going to get some support.”