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
Crop InputsSyngenta’s Acuron Flexi Receives EPA Approval
February 11, 2016
Growers looking to control their toughest weeds with flexibility will have access to Acuron Flexi corn herbicide from Syngenta, now Read More
EquipmentAGCO Showcases White Planters 9800VE Series Planters AT…
February 11, 2016
AGCO unveiled the new White Planters 9800VE Series planter during the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The Read More
EquipmentCase Unveils 2000 Series Early Riser Planter At NFMS
February 10, 2016
Case IH revealed the all-new 2000 Series Early Riser planter to media and attendees at the opening of the National Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta: Keep Ag In Mind During Election Season
February 10, 2016
As presidential candidates stake out their 2016 election platforms and key priorities, growers and their business partners should seek opportunities Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Submits New Bio-Fungicide For E…
February 9, 2016
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) today announced that it has submitted a new biological fungicide (MBI-110) to EPA. The broad spectrum Read More
Crop InputsWeed Expert: Adding A Second Herbicide Not Always Easy
February 9, 2016
In my last post, I reviewed some recent research that suggests one of the best ways to delay the evolution Read More
Crop InputsGenetic Literacy Project: Farmers Need More Herbicide C…
February 9, 2016
There are two things that I think just about every weed scientist can agree on, writes Andrew Kniss for The Read More
HerbicidesWeed Expert Warns North Dakota Growers Of Coming Herbic…
February 9, 2016
Ford Baldwin painted a bleak picture of weed control at a recent workshop here exploring the future of ag production, Read More
HerbicidesWSSA Announces New, Updated Free Web Resources
February 9, 2016
Today the Weed Science Society of American (WSSA) announced that new and updated educational materials for both weed scientists and Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesFour Arysta Fungicide Formulations Given FIFRA Approval…
February 8, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the issuance of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 2(ee) Recommendations for Read More
FungicidesAgri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus Receives EPA Registrat…
February 8, 2016
Vivid Life Sciences has announced the EPA registration of Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus, a highly concentrated active ingredient phosphite fungicide, Read More
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More
Crop InputsBayer To Contest EPA Flubendiamide Decision
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced today it has refused a request by EPA to voluntarily cancel the uses Read More
Syngenta
Seed/BiotechNot So Fast: ChemChina Syngenta Takeover Could Draw Nat…
February 5, 2016
State-owned China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), which plans to buy Swiss seeds and pesticide maker Syngenta, will promptly start preparations Read More
Rendering of Syngenta Seedcare Institute expansion
Seed/BiotechExpansion Of Syngenta’s North America Seedcare In…
February 4, 2016
As demand for seed treatment knowledge and products grows among farmers, retailers and others in the seed industry, Syngenta is Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Strengthens Sales Team
February 4, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced three new personnel additions: Jake Cook and Peter White are Territory Sales Managers for Read More