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
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
CropLife 100Farmers Union Oil Co. Votes To Join CHS
September 30, 2016
Eligible voting members of Farmers Union Oil Co., a diversified agricultural retailer based out of Oslo, MN, have cast affirmative Read More
EmployeesOABA Program Develops Future Generation Of Agribusiness…
September 29, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association will select up to 25 promising leaders to participate in a leadership enhancement program early next Read More
ManagementThoughts on CropLife America and the PSM Appeal
September 29, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the recent CropLife America annual meeting and the successful appeal of the Read More
Corn Field
Industry NewsMarrone Bio Innovations’ SVP And Chief Sustainability O…
September 29, 2016
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., a leading provider of effective and environmentally responsible pest management and plant health products, announced today Read More
Young Corn Field
StewardshipStudy: Ohio Farmers Doing ‘A Good Job Of Managing…
September 27, 2016
Leaders from Ohio’s largest grain farming organizations announced today that Ohio farmers are doing their part in effectively managing phosphorus Read More
Growmark FS Outlet
Industry NewsGROWMARK To Purchase Suncor’s Share Of UPI
September 26, 2016
GROWMARK and Suncor have reached an agreement in which GROWMARK will purchase Suncor’s 50% interest in UPI, Inc. in Ontario, Read More
Corn Field
Eric SfiligojFacing Ag Industry Challenges
September 26, 2016
At the 2016 annual Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) meeting in September, a pair of crop protection company representatives discussed Read More
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More