A Tougher Road Expected For Ag Retailers In 2014, But Still A Nice Ride

For the most part, ag retailers are in agreement — the past few years have been a banner time for those companies and individuals that make their living from agriculture. At all levels, revenues have soared, commodity prices have stayed at record highs and even challenging weather conditions (a severe drought in 2012 followed by extreme wetness in 2013) haven’t depressed incomes, both on the farm and at the retail outlet.

Based upon these types of performances, the majority of ag retailers remain confident that 2014 will hold more of the same for the marketplace. In its annual CropLife 100 survey of the nation’s top retail organizations, CropLife® magazine asked respondents to rate their outlook for the 2014 season on a scale of one to 10 (one being extremely negative and 10 being extremely positive). When totalled, the numbers showed that 73% of the nation’s top ag retailers believe 2014 will rate between a seven and a 10 in overall sales.

According to these same retailers, their grower-customers are a bit more conservative in their views on the fortunes for 2014. When asked to describe how their customers think the year will play out, 69% of CropLife 100 respondents said they felt “cautiously optimistic” it would be a good year. Another 30% of grower-customers were “somewhat to very pessimistic” 2014 would continue agriculture’s current winning streak.

No 2008 Revisited

Perhaps following through on these feelings toward 2014, many growers apparently spent the fall of 2013 sitting on the sidelines when it came to conducting fall fertility applications. At several recent industry events, many ag retail  ers said their fall fertilizer sales were “very slow” compared with those in 2013 and 2012. “Producers seem reluctant to buy fertilizer and are expecting the prices to come down,” says Frank Schumacher, agronomy division manager at Mountain View Cooperative Inc., Black Eagle, MT.

At first blush, this kind of “wait-and-see” attitude harkens back to what the ag retail industry experienced in 2008, when rapidly rising fertilizer prices eventually lead to a marketplace crash. However, according to Dave DuFault, senior vice president, retail operations for J.R. Simplot Co., Boise, ID, this same kind of “disaster” scenario is unlikely to play out again. “Given what’s happening with falling commodity prices, fertilizer prices will have to come down some,” says DuFault. “In the end, 2014 might be a tougher year for fertilizer sales, but it’s not going to be like what happened in 2008.”

Leave a Reply

Special Reports Stories

Yargus tower
Retail FacilitiesYargus Meets Material Handling Needs Of CHS Primeland
July 11, 2016
When planning its new Agronomy Hub Plant in Clarkston, WA, CHS Primeland partnered with Yargus Manufacturing for its material handling Read More
Total Fertilizer Construction Overall Facility Tri-State Fertilizer
Retail FacilitiesTotal Fertilizer Construction Builds A New Liquid Terminal For Tri-State Fertilizer
July 10, 2016
To have an efficient, low labor liquid fertilizer terminal, Tri-State Fertilizer engaged Total Fertilizer Construction to construct a terminal to Read More
Southeast Farmers Coop - Finished Building
Retail FacilitiesNew Stueve Facilities Offer Ag Retailers Speed, Accuracy
July 9, 2016
Leading the industry in planning and constructing dry fertilizer storage and chemical warehouse solutions, Stueve Construction helped three ag retailers Read More
Wheat Growers
Retail FacilitiesWheat Growers’ New Agronomy Center From SMA Is Built For Growth
July 8, 2016
South Dakota Wheat Growers in Kennebec, SD, worked with SMA Design Build to develop a large-scale crop nutrient and grain Read More
Trending Articles
Southeast Farmers Coop - Finished Building
Retail FacilitiesNew Stueve Facilities Offer Ag Retailers Speed, Accuracy
July 9, 2016
Leading the industry in planning and constructing dry fertilizer storage and chemical warehouse solutions, Stueve Construction helped three ag retailers Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Latest News
FertilizerGypsum Added To List Of Conservation Practices
July 28, 2016
Crop farmers in a growing number of states may be eligible for financial assistance from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Read More
Management2016 CTIC Cover Crop Survey: 33% Report ROI From Cover …
July 28, 2016
Insight from 2,020 farmers from across the country reflected enthusiasm for cover crops and—for the fourth year in a row—found Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesStudy: Fall Weed Controls Can Make Significant Impact O…
July 28, 2016
An article published in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science shows that adopting harvest-time and post-harvest weed controls Read More
InsecticidesSyngenta: Beware Of Early Stinkbug Threat To Soybeans
July 28, 2016
With the record warm temperatures this past winter and confirmations from early entomologist reports, Syngenta encourages growers to monitor stinkbug Read More
Peanut field
Crop InputsVerdesian Introduces New Inoculant For Peanuts
July 28, 2016
As planning begins for the next growing season, Verdesian Life Sciences adds Primo Power CL, a new liquid inoculant, to Read More
Soil Young Corn
Crop InputsSmithsonian: 5 Things to Know About New GMO Labeling Bi…
July 27, 2016
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring large food companies to label products containing genetically modified Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More