PACE Annual Report 2008

Retailers

Market studies indicate that after a long period of increasing operational size, large growers aren’t trying to increase acreage beyond where they are today. Instead, these operations and the individuals that run them have evolved from strictly growers to business managers. In this capacity, large growers are becoming more interested in areas such as finance and credit and not as interested in “just buying products at the cheapest price.”

In some ways, retailers say they are at a relationship disadvantage with many growers when it comes to risk management. Fertilizer deals made on a handshake can create devastating risks when companies buy high and get trapped in a sudden price drop that the grower expects to receive. 

 

Seed / Biotech

Retailers say their seed profits have taken a step backward in 2008. Many say there are too many brands out in the market or competing ideas on how to effectively sell seed to grower-customers. Being a full-time seed expert and understanding how these inputs can help individual growers is the key to making this segment become more profitable in the future.

Surprisingly, the demand for conventional seed in some markets grew in 2008 as growers revolted against paying higher tech fees for biotech seed types. Still, the demand for biotech seed was growing, specifically with increased interest in LibertyLink soybeans as an alternative to Roundup Ready varieties.

 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer prices, which had been moving upward at a steady clip throughout 2007 and early 2008, suddenly headed downward, with anhydrous ammonia and urea both experiencing steep drops in price. This softening in price has many retailers that bought their fertilizer ahead (and at higher market prices) wondering how to make a profit during the 2009 growing season.

Besides price, transportation continues to be an issue. Railroads continue to balk at hauling anhydrous ammonia (NH3), driving up its price and keeping supply situations tight. Many retailers are exiting the NH3 market altogether rather than fight this distribution battle, coupled with insurance and security risks.  

 

Equipment/Precision

Bigger equipment has become the norm, with spray booms now averaging 120 feet in length. The use of automatic steering has become widespread and high clearance sprayers are on the horizon from several major manufacturers. Precision technologies continue to grow. There was big growth during 2008 in the areas of automatic boom shut-off control, automatic boom leveling systems, and GPS technology, and this is expected to continue during 2009. 

 

Biofuels/Crop Intentions

Retailers report that demand and excitement regarding biofuels has dropped off significantly, particularly for ethanol as oil prices have dropped. Many observers feel corn ethanol will not be a growth area for the industry in 2009 or beyond.

With corn for ethanol demand dropping, there are numerous predictions that soybeans will be the king row crop in 2009 — at least in terms of new planting. Corn, wheat, and cotton will all lose acres in 2009 to soybeans, which could also benefit from fewer crop input demands and higher commodity prices relative to other row crops.

 

Crop Protection

Retailers saw a significant increase in fungicide applications in many areas of the country, with many growers using these products as a way to increase their yields, particularly in corn. Still, the equipment to apply fungicides as preventives isn’t there yet for many retailers. But equipment manufacturers are planning to introduce a host of ground-based sprayers in 2009 that will be able to apply fungicides over-the-top of corn, so the market should remain strong.

Spray drift remains a big area of concern for the marketplace. New EPA drift reduction lists might contain mandatory buffer zone requirements, which the application industry opposes. “Some in government feel that based upon the evidence and our technical advances that zero drift is possible,” said one PACE Council Member. “But we need to make the point back to government that although zero drift is our goal, it’s not attainable.”

Leave a Reply

Management Stories
ManagementMACA 2014: The State Of The Agricultural Industry, And Then Some
October 9, 2014
The trade association’s annual gathering featured speakers from across agriculture and beyond. Read More
StewardshipA Multi-Layered Approach To Water Quality
October 6, 2014
Illinois event highlights research and technology designed to better monitor and improve water quality — and the benefits of cooperative, coordinated effort. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
ManagementRussia Bans U.S. And EU Ag Product Imports In Ukraine Sanctions Battle
August 7, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned the import of agricultural goods from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More