Mining The Market

It’s CropLife® 100 time.

Well, maybe not for you readers, but around here we kick off our annual, comprehensive research project in mid-August with the construction of a print and e-mail survey. That means that by the time summer has begun to wind down, we’ve already hashed out what we think are the big issues of the day, and we’re getting ready to ask you to weigh in. It’s the beginning of a project that will culminate in our CropLife 100 issue in December, one of our most anticipated of the year.

It’s a fun time for us, because so many retail organizations contribute, and it really serves to help us gauge our own ideas about the state of the retail channel against a large segment of the “real world.” Sometimes you prop up our notions, and other times you crush some egos. Either way, it’s a great learning experience.

Of course, there are some preliminary things we’ll be watching especially closely going into this, our 23rd annual market sweep. In no particular order, here they are:

Consolidation Continues. This as been an eventful year for a couple of the largest organizations. Agrium Retail made the biggest move, acquiring Royster-Clark to give its Crop Production Services division a new, significant footprint in the Southeast. More recently, Agriliance moved further west, acquiring Wilco Farmers in the Pacific Northwest. You can read more about that particular deal in next month’s CropLife magazine.

Biofuels. Much has been said and written about the potential growth opportunities in biofuels, in particular corn-based ethanol and biodiesel from soybeans. Certainly, momentum alone is driving the construction of corn ethanol plants and serving to shift the planting intentions of growers. This should come as good news for retailers of course — more corn means more fertilizer and herbicide business in the long run. We’ll be taking a closer look at short and long term trends in biofuels in a November CropLife special report.

Herbicide Resistance Manage­ment. Monsanto expects that fully half the corn acres planted in 2007 will feature the Roundup Ready trait, to go along with the approximately 90% of soybean acres planted to the glyphosate resistant varieties. Now more than ever the grower needs his or her retailer to weigh in on the issue of managing risk and yield through better weed management. Growers in general have not been receptive to the message, but they need to understand the importance of looking beyond the glyphosate application to really get a handle on weed control.

Challenges And Opportunities. In early 2003, we worked with Purdue University on a study of retailer challenges and opportunities that provided a fascinating look into the state of the distribution channel. We’re going to dedicate a portion of our CropLife 100 research to let retailers again rank their biggest challenges and most significant opportunities to discover what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what are the top trends going into the next season.

There’s certainly no shortage of issues to cover, and we’re looking forward to bring you to full report later this year. Here’s wishing you and your grower customers a successful harvest and fall application season.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
West Central Dome structure
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics 2016: All Clear, So Far
May 1, 2016
After a relatively hairy early start to the spring fertilizer movement season with flooding in Louisiana and St. Louis, things Read More
BAICOR
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Utah Specialty Fertilizer Company
April 28, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty ag products, has acquired a majority interest in BAICOR, L.C. BAICOR, Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Adds Vice President Of Business…
April 28, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences has announced the addition of Marc Treurniet to the plant health and nutrition company’s management team. Treurniet Read More
ManagementBiotech Crops Developments and Millennials
April 28, 2016
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf talk about the latest activities in biotech crops and a major shift in the Read More
Industry NewsNachurs-Alpine, Pathway Biologic Extend Marketing Agree…
April 28, 2016
Nachurs-Alpine Solutions (Marion, OH) and Pathway Biologic (Plant City, FL) announce an extension to their exclusive marketing agreement specific to Read More
MicronutrientsCharah Add Three Warehouses For SUL4R-PLUS Fertilizer
April 28, 2016
Charah, Inc., a total solutions company providing unparalleled service and innovation for the coal-fired power generation industry, announced today that Read More
Spenser Forgey, Yahama Fortix
FungicidesIndiana Farmer Wins Arysta LifeScience FORTIX Fungicide…
April 28, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently presented Spenser Forgey, a grower from Young America, IN, with a new 2016 Yamaha Grizzly Read More
Corn Field
HerbicidesNew Wilbur‐Ellis Herbicide Targets Volunteer Corn
April 28, 2016
Wilbur‐Ellis Co., a recognized leader in marketing and distribution of crop protection products, as well as precision agriculture technology, has Read More
StewardshipNRCS To Help Farmers Measure Conservation Impacts On Wa…
April 27, 2016
The USDA has announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as Read More
Planter in Iowa
EquipmentTop 10 Twitter Pics For #Plant16
April 27, 2016
Despite some wet weather in parts of the Midwest, growers and ag retailers are working feverishly to plant this year’s Read More
HerbicidesHELM AGRO Launches New HELM Sulfentrazone 4F Herbicide
April 26, 2016
HELM AGRO US, Inc. has announced the federal Section 3 registration of its new HELM Sulfentrazone 4F herbicide. Classified as a Read More
Valley Irrigation Valley 8000 series on corn
EquipmentValley Irrigation Receives Environmental Stewardship Ho…
April 26, 2016
Valley Irrigation has been recognized as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation. The Groundwater Guardian Green Site 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
HerbicidesHerbicide Resistance In Waterhemp Continues To Grow
April 22, 2016
Twenty-five years ago, waterhemp was virtually unknown to Illinois farmers. Today, the broadleaf weed blankets corn and soybean fields across Read More
ManagementIllinois Leads The Nation In 4R Certified Nutrient Mana…
April 22, 2016
As Illinois agriculture works to educate farmers about minimizing environmental impact and optimizing the use of ag nutrients, Illinois now leads Read More
Social media
Matt Hopkins7 Social Media Trends Shaping Ag Retail In 2016
April 22, 2016
After writing my last column on why social media is a must for ag retailers, I heard from several readers Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Adds Corey Abels To Midwest Sales Te…
April 22, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Corey Abels as Territory Sales Manager for the Midwest region. In Read More
Soybean Field
HerbicidesHELM AGRO US Unveils New Sheridan 25 WG Herbicide
April 22, 2016
HELM AGRO US, Inc. has announced the federal Section 3 registration of its new Sheridan 25 WG herbicide for selective Read More