Ups And Downs For Agriculture This Winter

As I write this week’s enewletter column, I’ve just returned from the annual Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) meeting and convention. Other state associations have also held their annual meetings this month, with plenty more scheduled between now and the big National Farm Machinery Show in mid-February.

On the floor of the IFCA show itself, exhibitors seemed relatively pleased with their prospects for 2014. In particular, those companies involved in new ag retail plant construction and fertilizer blending indicated that business was “brisk,” with plenty of activity going through until the end of the year. Likewise, field equipment manufacturers said their orders for new machinery were equally strong through the middle of 2014.

What do you think is the biggest threat to a strong 2014 for agriculture?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

On the other side of the coin, however, are fertilizer distributors. Following several strong demand years since 2009, many fertilizer dealers and suppliers at IFCA indicated that their advance sales for spring 2014 are “slower than I would have expected.” Most blamed the recent fall in corn prices convincing growers to possibly switch to less fertilizer dependent soybeans for the upcoming season. Others thought that because growers have applied “lots” of crop nutrients the past two years, they were choosing to “mine the soil” in 2014 instead of applying new fertilizer. A few even blamed the lack of a Farm Bill to have added to this uncertainty (although it looks like a new one should be passed shortly).

No matter what way you slice it, 2014 could end up being the most up/down year the ag retail marketplace has experienced since 2008 – when everything hummed along nicely until mid-year and then ground to a complete halt. In addition, another uneven weather year in 2014 could make this uncertainty even more pronounced.

As one IFCA attendee told me off the record: “I think we are just one really bad trend away from this whole bull market for agriculture coming to an end.”

I certainly hope this isn’t the case. But I will be watching events very closely just the same.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Ups And Downs For Agriculture This Winter

  1. Your comments mentioned that due to low corn prices many growers considering switching to less dependent soybeans. It is well known that rhizobacteria that colonize the plant roots help increase symbotic nitrogrn fixation. One must realize this assistance comes at a price. The plant must extrude 20 to 40 percent of their energy ( derived via photosynthesis)into the root zone to feed
    these microorganism.That is a heavy tax on the plant. However this tax can be eliminated by biological products containing photosynthetic microorganisms that use the entire light spectrum ( including radio waves and microwaves, light not visible to the human eye) to product ten times the
    energy for the plant.
    The microbes inhabit the entire ciculatory system of the plant producing sugar 24 hours per day. It is like a plant having it’s fsertilizer factory.

Eric Sfiligoj Stories

Eric SfiligojNo Alternative Facts: Dicamba Cropping System Applicators Must Be Careful
January 23, 2017
During President Donald Trump’s inauguration, much fuss was made over the use of the term “alternative facts” vs. some of Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Donald Trump
Eric SfiligojTrump’s New Ag Secretary Coming Soon?
January 9, 2017
As agricultural experts are quick to point out, incoming President Donald Trump largely has the nation’s growers to thank for Read More
Trending Articles
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little 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
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
Latest News
Eric SfiligojNo Alternative Facts: Dicamba Cropping System Applicato…
January 23, 2017
During President Donald Trump’s inauguration, much fuss was made over the use of the term “alternative facts” vs. some of Read More
Young Corn Plants
ManagementTimac Agro USA Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
January 20, 2017
Timac Agro USA, an agriculture supply company specializing in high-efficiency plant and animal nutrition products, has acquired St. Louis,MI-based A&E Ag, Read More
Soybean field
Crop InputsNufarm Teams Up With John Deere Financial
January 19, 2017
Nufarm and John Deere Financial have teamed up to help farmers grow a better tomorrow. This program helps make purchases Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationTrump Formally Picks Perdue As Agriculture Secretary
January 19, 2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump officially announced Sonny Perdue as his choice for secretary of agriculture on Thursday, selecting a former Read More
ManagementPresident Trump, Wisconsin Review, and a Dow-DuPont Upd…
January 18, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj reflect on a new administration, a recent winter show, and crop protection company mergers. Read More
Industry NewsBayer, MS Technologies Get China Approval For Balance G…
January 18, 2017
MS Technologies and Bayer have received import approval from China for Balance GT soybeans. The new Balance GT Soybean Performance Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Industry NewsReport: Monsanto, Bayer CEOs Among Latest to Make Trump…
January 18, 2017
The chief executive officers of German chemical giant Bayer AG and U.S. seed behemoth Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesStudy: Focusing On Weed Seedbank Can Help Manage Herbic…
January 18, 2017
Researchers writing in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science provide important insights on the control of herbicide-resistant giant Read More
Management3 Financial Trends To Watch In Agriculture
January 17, 2017
I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting of credit managers for Midwest ag supply and input companies, in part Read More
Andersons Retail Store
CropLife 100The Andersons To Close All Retail Stores; Shutdown Does…
January 16, 2017
In a stunning announcement to the Toledo area, The Andersons Inc. said on Sunday that it would close its two Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsAccenture Helps Syngenta Transform Its Global Logistics
January 13, 2017
Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has collaborated with Accenture to design and implement a new digital logistics operating model across Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improve…
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
HerbicidesEPA Expands Enlist Duo Herbicide Registration To 34 Sta…
January 13, 2017
The U.S. EPA has expanded the geography for application of Enlist Duo herbicide from 15 to 34 states. This means Read More
Olson Ag Enterprise
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Nebraska Seed Retailer
January 13, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
ManagementDeere-Precision Planting Update and the Ag Secretary Wa…
January 12, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide the latest on the court date for John Deere/Precision Planting and the quest Read More
Monsanto sign
Seed/BiotechMonsanto, NRGene Form Agreement For Big Data Genomic An…
January 12, 2017
Monsanto Co. and NRGene have announced that the companies have reached a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement on NRGene’s genome-analysis Read More