For several years during the early 2000s, the seed category for CropLife 100 ag retailers was one of the consistent growth engines. Sales moved from significantly less than $1 billion at the start of the 21st century to topping the $4 billion mark one decade later.
Over the next few years, however, seed sales followed a new pattern — up slightly one year, down the next. By the end of 2015, revenues for this category had dipped once again, falling $200 million to $4.3 billion and a 14% market share. Which path, up or down, would seed follow in 2016?
The answer was up. According to the 2016 CropLife 100 survey, the seed category sales moved forward for the year a healthy $300 million (6.9%). As of the end of the year, income for this sector stands at $4.6 billion. Market share also improved, bouncing back to 16% compared with all other crop inputs/services for CropLife 100 ag retailers.
This could continue in 2017, say most. For several years now, various new cropping systems/seed traits such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend and Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist have been in the works. With some final regulatory sign-offs, both could be available for the 2017 growing season.
And CropLife 100 ag retailers seem anxious to have these offerings as well. According to the 2016 survey, 77% of respondents will “definitely” or “probably” offer these new seed traits to their grower-customers once they become available. Only 23% have no interest in doing so.