CropLife 100 And Equipment: Getting Interesting

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Truthfully, there’s not much that remains the same in the annual CropLife 100 retailer survey from year to year. Market conditions change too rapidly for this to occur very often.

But there are a few exceptions to this rule. No matter the year, there usually are three constants reflected in the survey results from one year to the next: Seed will continue to gain sales and market share, biotech seed will lead the sub-categories in sales growth and AGCO will make up the largest percentage of self-propelled sprayer fleets utilized by CropLife 100 retailers vs. its competitors.

This is what makes the 2010 CropLife 100 survey so interesting. True to form, seed did indeed gain sales and market share at the expense of crop protection products. But this year, biotech seed growth was overshadowed among retailers by both adjuvants and seed treatments.

And then there’s the self-propelled sprayer tug-of-war. Based upon the survey numbers, AGCO still leads this market over the other equipment manufacturers.

But not by much.

A Historical Leader

Back in the mid-2000s, when the CropLife 100 survey first started tracking self-propelled sprayer market share among respondents, AGCO (then divided between Ag-Chem and Spra-Coupe) perpertually led the pack. Our survey asked respondents to tell us what company brands were present in their self-propelled sprayer fleets. Since respondents could choose multiple companies in the survey, we used a base number to determine what percentage each brand name held within the market.

In a typical survey, AGCO machine tended to be present in approximately 85% of CropLife 100 sprayer fleets vs. other manufacturers.

Since that time, however, AGCO’s presence has gradually slipped. While the company still accounted for 80% of sprayer fleets during the 2007 and 2008 surveys, this had dropped to 75% by the time the 2009 results were final.

In 2010, AGCO sprayers were present in 72% of respondents self-propelled sprayer fleets. In addition, when asked what machines they planned to purchase for the 2011 season, only 28% of respondents said these would carry the AGCO logo. This is a drop of 10% from the 2009 figure.

Based upon the survey results, AGCO’s spot as the No. 1 self-propelled sprayer present for CropLife 100 retailers is being challenged by John Deere. In the mid-2000s, green units were present in approximately 50% of respondent fleets. But this number has been steadily growing a few percentage points every year since. In 2009, 67% of CropLife 100 retailers had John Deere sprayers on their lots.

In 2010, this number increased to 70%. More significantly, when asked what color machines they planned to buy in 2011, 54% of respondents said these would be green.

The Rest Of The Pack

For the most part, other sprayer manufacturers increased their presences within the CropLife 100 in 2010. For example, Case IH units are now part of 62% of respondent fleets, up from 57% in 2009. Additionally, 39% of respondents plan to buy Case IH sprayers in 2011.

Other gainers included Hagie, with a fleet presence of 32% in 2010 vs. 25% in 2009, and GVM, which saw its fleet presence climb from 17% in 2009 to 22% in 2010. Miller-St. Nazianz remained flat at 13% each year.

Perhaps the best news for equipment manufacturers to come out of this year’s CropLife 100 survey is the intent to purchase percentage. In 2009, as market conditions were unstable and money became tight for buyers, 33% of respondents said they didn’t plan to purchase any new equipment in 2010. But in the 2010 survey, this percentage has dropped to 20%.

Sfiligoj is the Editor for both CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines. He travels regularly to cover industry events and has been dedicated to the ag retail industry since he joined the staff in 2000.

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