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
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
dicamba, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend
Crop InputsASA: No Dicamba On Roundup Ready 2 Xtend In 2016
May 16, 2016
While Roundup Ready 2 Xtend (RR2X) are tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides, no dicamba herbicides will be approved for Read More
CPP, glyphosate, dicamba, atrazine,
Crop InputsReport: Congress Pressing EPA On Glyphosate Review Hand…
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter P.J. Huffstutter: U.S. lawmakers have asked EPA to explain why it published – and then withdrew – 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
ManagementAsmark Institute Tour Observations
May 12, 2016
Special Guest CropLife Field Editor Matthew Grassi discusses his week-long visit with 45 ag retailers as part of the Asmark Read More
MicronutrientsCompass Minerals Expands Trial Work For Wolf Trax Innov…
May 12, 2016
Fertilizer manufacturer Compass Minerals continues to expand the evaluation program for its Wolf Trax micronutrient fertilizer products, according to a Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsArysta Adds To Marketing Team
May 12, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of David Davies to its marketing team. As marketing manager, Davies will Read More