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
Soybean Plant closeup
HerbicidesRegional Listening Sessions Give Farmers A Voice In The…
February 27, 2017
Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed Read More
Greystone Construction built the tension membrane fertilizer storage building (left) and steel seed treater building (right)
CropLife 100Pinnacle Announces Successful Exchange Offer Results An…
February 27, 2017
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC has announced today the early tender results of its previously announced offer to exchange (the “Exchange Read More
IEI Barge Fertilizer Potash Port Terminal
EquipmentLegacy Building Solutions Receives Design-Build Merit A…
February 27, 2017
When IEI Barge Services needed a building capable of storing and loading fertilizer, they turned to Legacy Building Solutions to Read More
ManagementSouth Africa Update and the New New Leader G5
February 24, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the recent visit to South Africa by sister magazine AgriBusiness Global and the Read More
Fall Creek Watershed
StewardshipUpdate: Nutrient Stewardship In Indiana Requires Cool, …
February 24, 2017
Update: The application deadline for NCRS funding has been extended to March 17, 2017. Green leaves sparkle in the sunlight. Trees Read More
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More