Expecting A Sure Thing

If knowledge is power, what does that make perceived knowledge? In life, knowing that something is a so-called “sure thing” can sometimes be dangerous — and expensive.

Take, for instance, the recent experience of dozens of clothing retailers in Columbus, OH. As the hometown The Ohio State University Buckeyes football team prepared to play for the national championship against the University of Florida Gators in early January, sport experts everywhere proclaimed this as a “sure thing” win for the scarlet and gray. Based on this perceived knowledge, retailers in the city spent thousands of dollars buying Buckeye championship shirts, jackets, and other memorabilia.

But a funny thing happened to the sure thing. Florida won, decisively. I’ve heard that the clothing retailers betting on a Buckeyes win lost their shirts — literally and figuratively.

I was reminded of this tale of caution when helping to put together the issue of CropLife® you hold in your hands. As always, this month’s focus is on spring fertility, using this important variable as a gauge to figure out what kind of year ag retailers can expect to have in general. In most years, the industry insiders split 50-50. Occasionally, there are more pessimistic outlooks than optimistic ones. More noteworthy, however, there’s never been a time when those sources our magazine has talked with are universally positive that the year ahead will be completely bright and sunny in terms of overall economic health.

Until now, that is. Strange as it may sound, practically everyone CropLife spoke to for this issue had the perceived knowledge that 2007 will be a truly special, profitable year. Comments ranged from “growers have more money so they will spend it” to “this is the start of a new golden age of agricultural prosperity.”

Without fail, the reason ag retailers are so positive in their outlook for 2007 ties back to a single source — the expected increase in corn acreage as growers look to cash in the ethanol movement. As a crop, corn is much more input intensive than other crops such as soybean or wheat. Perceived knowledge says this added 6 million to 9 million corn acres will mean plenty of additional seed sales, lots of activity in fertilizers, and the application of numerous extra gallons of crop protection products to help maximize yields.

To be fair, a few industry observers did say there were some factors that could keep this completely positive scenario from panning out. One of these related to transportation issues, as more fertilizer comes from off-shore sources, increasing the lead time required to get more product by 40 days.

Weather, of course, was another worry, especially if extreme dry or wet conditions keep inputs from being applied. “It only takes one hailstorm to ruin a parade,” said one retailer.

Still, even with these few negatives, the perceived knowledge is that 2007 will be the kind of year retailers will tell their grandchildren about.

This attitude was nicely summed up by Pat Avery of J.R. Simplot Co. “Even with questions about the weather and supply issues, I can’t wait for the season to get started,” he said.

It’s hard to argue with such widespread positive perceived knowledge. Just maybe, the “sure thing” ag retailers have waited for is finally here.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Eric SfiligojNo Alternative Facts: Dicamba Cropping System Applicato…
January 23, 2017
During President Donald Trump’s inauguration, much fuss was made over the use of the term “alternative facts” vs. some of Read More
Young Corn Plants
ManagementTimac Agro USA Acquires Michigan Ag Retailer
January 20, 2017
Timac Agro USA, an agriculture supply company specializing in high-efficiency plant and animal nutrition products, has acquired St. Louis,MI-based A&E Ag, Read More
Soybean field
Crop InputsNufarm Teams Up With John Deere Financial
January 19, 2017
Nufarm and John Deere Financial have teamed up to help farmers grow a better tomorrow. This program helps make purchases Read More
Sonny Perdue
LegislationTrump Formally Picks Perdue As Agriculture Secretary
January 19, 2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump officially announced Sonny Perdue as his choice for secretary of agriculture on Thursday, selecting a former Read More
ManagementPresident Trump, Wisconsin Review, and a Dow-DuPont Upd…
January 18, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj reflect on a new administration, a recent winter show, and crop protection company mergers. Read More
Industry NewsBayer, MS Technologies Get China Approval For Balance G…
January 18, 2017
MS Technologies and Bayer have received import approval from China for Balance GT soybeans. The new Balance GT Soybean Performance Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Industry NewsReport: Monsanto, Bayer CEOs Among Latest to Make Trump…
January 18, 2017
The chief executive officers of German chemical giant Bayer AG and U.S. seed behemoth Monsanto, Werner Baumann and Hugh Grant, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesStudy: Focusing On Weed Seedbank Can Help Manage Herbic…
January 18, 2017
Researchers writing in the latest issue of the journal Weed Science provide important insights on the control of herbicide-resistant giant Read More
Management3 Financial Trends To Watch In Agriculture
January 17, 2017
I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting of credit managers for Midwest ag supply and input companies, in part Read More
Andersons Retail Store
CropLife 100The Andersons To Close All Retail Stores; Shutdown Does…
January 16, 2017
In a stunning announcement to the Toledo area, The Andersons Inc. said on Sunday that it would close its two Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsAccenture Helps Syngenta Transform Its Global Logistics
January 13, 2017
Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has collaborated with Accenture to design and implement a new digital logistics operating model across Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improve…
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
HerbicidesEPA Expands Enlist Duo Herbicide Registration To 34 Sta…
January 13, 2017
The U.S. EPA has expanded the geography for application of Enlist Duo herbicide from 15 to 34 states. This means Read More
Olson Ag Enterprise
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Nebraska Seed Retailer
January 13, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
ManagementDeere-Precision Planting Update and the Ag Secretary Wa…
January 12, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide the latest on the court date for John Deere/Precision Planting and the quest Read More
Monsanto sign
Seed/BiotechMonsanto, NRGene Form Agreement For Big Data Genomic An…
January 12, 2017
Monsanto Co. and NRGene have announced that the companies have reached a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement on NRGene’s genome-analysis Read More