Ag Retailers Weigh In On Industry Trends

Not all the challenges and opportunities shared by ag retailers interviewed for this story were shared by the majority — but there were a number of interesting things retailers said that are worth sharing. Here are five more compelling thoughts that retailers shared:

  1. Biologicals Opportunities: Jeff Tarsi, senior director of business  strategy for Crop Production Services, says that biological products are something they would like to be able to add to their arsenal of product offerings. “We want to explore ‘green’ products, and learn how and when to use them both for seed treatments and foliar application,” says Tarsi. “We will keep an eye out for anything that has the potential to improve profit per acre.
  2. Good People Deliver: Simplot’s Dave Dufault can see the opportunities that the increased complexity of farming brings, but the challenge to the grower is being ready for it when it comes. “Whether it’s weed resistance or rootworm issues, or any aspect of the decision making process from seed selection to harvest, we see the grower coming back and wanting help and service at all levels,” says Dufault. “And that’s only a good thing if you have qualified people out in the field to answer their questions and provide the necessary service. It separates the men from the boys.”
  3. Dispatch and Logistics Programs: Up to now, Karl Hensley of Central Valley Ag (CVA) had taken a wait and see approach to logistics and centralized dispatch programs rather than dive in and work through some of the early efforts software and equipment companies were taking to market. Now they are ready to start looking in earnest. “We just started looking at software companies,” he says. “We held back to see how it developed, but centralized dispatch is something that needs to happen.” The big challenge will be finding a program that ties into CVAs legacy business management programs. It will bring tremendous benefits, but it will also “really disrupt the business,” he says.
  4. Variable-Rate Planting: Larry Arndt, agronomy team leader at MaxYield Cooperative, says that the company’s efforts on variable-rate planting over the past few years have netted clear benefits for growers. ‘It has been amazing to see the results,” he says. “All we are doing is managing populations, not anything by seed types or rates, and it’s been fun to watch it grow.” Where only a handful of growers used variable-rate planting maps just three years ago, in 2013 Arndt expects to be in the area of 200,000 acres planted using variable-rate maps. “Farmers are buying new, bigger planters with the technology already built in, and by providing variable-rate recommendations we are helping them use that investment wisely.”
  5. Mobile Moving Forward: In a very short time, tablet computers have become the weapon of choice for sales agronomists and retail managers to stay in touch and maintain a connection to information via wireless Internet. Jeff Eggleston, vice president of agronomy at Hintzsche Fertilizer, says his sales force is well armed with connectivity tools. “We are using Raven’s Slingshot system, and have all of our salespeople on iPads,” says Eggleston. “Many of them have access to the accounting system for making and yield planning.” It’s not evenly distributed — the younger employees have generally been more open to embracing the technology and using it to their advantage, but he says that wider adoption and utilization is coming along quickly.

Leave a Reply

State of the Industry Stories

Liquid Fertilizer Storage tanks
State of the IndustryComplex Fertilizer Market Brings Mixed Feelings
January 5, 2016
Declining fertilizer prices and plentiful supplies should be good news for growers facing low crop prices. But they and their Read More
Asmus Farm Supply crop protection products in storage
State of the Industry2016 Crop Protection Outlook: The Guessing Game
January 4, 2016
One would naturally assume that retail sales of crop protection products in a contracted market would themselves be contracted, but Read More
Seed corn bags in storage
Special ReportsThe Outlook For Seed In 2016
January 3, 2016
Among all crop input categories going into 2016, the seed category has as many questions regarding which direction it will Read More
Wilbur-Ellis’ new fertilizer blending facility, located in Mott, ND, was designed by A.J. Sackett & Sons.
State of the IndustryBuying Intentions Survey: Retailers Taking A Prudent Approach In 2016
January 2, 2016
The CropLife® magazine Buying Intentions Survey made its debut last year to gauge current industry trends against the retailer’s plans Read More
Trending Articles
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
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncontrolled Weeds
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
Eric SfiligojMissing The Family Ties In Agriculture
April 25, 2016
By its nature, the agriculture market is cyclical. Up and down cycles come and go with a regular pattern. For Read More
Latest News
ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Fertilizer closeup in hand
Industry NewsVerdesian: Striking A Balance Between Yield & ROI
May 26, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Pa…
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect 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
Corn close up
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Establishes Global Headquarters In R…
May 25, 2016
Arysta LifeScience has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from West Palm Beach, FL, to Cary, NC, over the Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSys…
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, 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
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More