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

Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray Equipment Technology
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Converts Nitrogen To Bushels
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More
Crop NutritionCreating The Proper Environment For Yield Increases With Fertilizer Applications
May 31, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionEnhancing In-Season Nitrogen Use Efficiency Is In The Details
May 5, 2016
Spring is here and crops are in the ground. Do you have a plan for your nitrogen during the growing Read More
Trending Articles
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
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Eyeing Monsanto For Possible Mega-Merger
May 16, 2016
Bayer AG is exploring a potential bid for U.S. competitor Monsanto Co. in a deal that would create the world’s Read More
Aerial Drone
Precision AgA Deeper Dive Into The Future Of Precision Ag
May 9, 2016
For about two decades now, through the good and the bad times, the ups and the downs inherent in agriculture, Read More
Latest News
Eric SfiligojThe British Leave Vote Impact On EU Agriculture
June 27, 2016
Like virtually everyone else in the world this past week, I’ve watched the global reaction to Britain’s vote to exit Read More
Valent David Nothmann
Crop InputsValent Names David Nothmann Vice President Of Marketing
June 27, 2016
Valent U.S.A. Corp. has announced the appointment of David Nothmann as vice president of marketing. Nothmann will be responsible for Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stew…
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
CropLife 100BRANDT Contributes To Mayo Clinic
June 27, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty agriculture products, has pledged a sizable donation to the Mayo Clinic Read More
ManagementReport: U.S. Farmland Values On Average Continue Gradua…
June 27, 2016
Land price movement has been in the forefront for farmers, landowners, lenders and land brokers for a decade now during Read More
AdjuvantsPrecision Laboratories Introduces Intact Xtra For Use W…
June 27, 2016
Precision Laboratories announces the launch of Intact Xtra, an adjuvant designed for applicators who want to maximize spray applications and Read More
Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.
Retail FacilitiesKey Cooperative Facility Features The Latest In Murray …
June 27, 2016
When Key Cooperative wanted to improve the overall efficiency at its new state-of-the-art facility in Grinnell, IA, it turned to Read More
Allen Summers Asmark Institute PSM Training
EmployeesAsmark Institute Sponsors 25 ResponsibleAg Auditor Trai…
June 21, 2016
The Asmark Institute has announced plans to provide 25 scholarships through their affiliated State fertilizer and agrichemical associations to help encourage Read More
Kennebec Elevator
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Celebrates Kennebec Elevator Grand Openin…
June 21, 2016
Over 250 patrons and guests were on hand to celebrate Wheat Growers’ Kennebec Elevator grand opening. South Dakota Secretary of Read More
Land O Lakes
Industry NewsLand O’Lakes To Acquire Ceres
June 20, 2016
Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and Ceres, Inc. have announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Land O’Lakes Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To …
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
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsan…
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Crop InputsFields of the Future: WinField Doubles Down with Agri-E…
June 16, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc., joined by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, today will host Fields of the Future, a live broadcast about Read More
Bayer sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Turns Back Bayer Again
June 14, 2016
Bayer AG’s bid to buy Monsanto Co. for more than $60 billion has hit an impasse that could pose a Read More
Young Corn Field
Crop NutritionNext Generation Of Nitrogen Efficiency Technology Conve…
June 13, 2016
Commodity price projections indicate farmers will continue to face tight margins again this year. Delivering higher yields and more bushels Read More
Industry NewsLa Crosse Seed Acquires Cover Crop Solutions Brand
June 10, 2016
La Crosse Seed announces that it is the new and exclusive owner of the entire family of brands of Cover Read More
ManagementTravel Plans and EU Rejection of Glyphosate, Biotech Cr…
June 9, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trips and the latest in the European Union’s moves against glyphosate Read More