Survey: Crop Protection Products Losing Market Share In Ag Retail

On many levels, 2012 was a great year for the crop protection products category for CropLife 100 retailers. Overall, the sector saw its sales figure increase almost 10%, from $7.1 billion in 2011 to $7.9 billion in 2012. Furthermore, the category lead in terms of overall growth among CropLife 100 retailers, with 90% of survey respondents writing that their crop protection products revenues increased from 1% to 5% for the year (which was tops among the nine sub-categories tracked in the CropLife 100 survey).

Yet, it wasn’t enough in the long run. Continuing a challenging trend that has plagued the crop protection products category for much of the 21st century, this rate of growth paled in comparison with some of the other three categories (fertilizer, seed and custom application), so the sector lost more market share of the overall CropLife 100 revenue pie. As of 2012, the crop protection products category holds a 28% market share among all inputs/services, it’s lowest mark ever and 43% lower than the near 50% share it held at the start of the 2000s.

No Fun For Fungicides

The past few years, one continuous bright spot for the crop protection products category has been the fungicides segment. According to most CropLife 100 respondents in the 2011 survey, 86% of their grower-customers were applying fungicides to their crop fields as a preventive against disease. This was helped along undoubtedly in 2011 by the particular wet spring and early summer conditions that affected much of the Midwest.

But in 2012, however, excess moisture was definitely not a problem. For much of the late spring and summer months, better than half the nation was griped with a severe drought. According to the majority of CropLife 100 retailers — 94% to be exact — this drought ultimately had no or little impact on their overall retail businesses. However, a closer look at some of the numbers for fungicides tells a slightly different story.

When asked to say if their fungicide sales were up, flat or down for the year, 81% of CropLife 100 retailers reported sales increases for fungicides in the 1% to 5% range on the 2011 survey. In the 2012 survey, however, this percentage took a significant hit, with only 52% of respondents seeing this kind of revenue bump. Instead, 39% of those surveyed in 2012 said their fungicide segment sales were down 1% to 5% during the year.

“We definitely saw reduced plant health fungicide business this year,” wrote Jim Loar, senior vice president, sales and marketing for Wilbur-El­lis Co., San Francisco, CA, on his Crop­Life 100 form.

And this was borne out in the numbers. When asked what percentage of their grower-customers applied fungicide for preventive measures in 2012, respondents reported that this number had dropped to 78%.

Fewer Generics

Then there were post-patent products. Not too many years ago, many crop protection product category watchers predicted that generic products would ultimately follow a similar growth curve to the one they experienced in the European Union, where one in three products sold fit into this segment. And it seemed as if this prediction was panning out for a little while during the early 2000s as post-patent products were sold by more than 30% of CropLife 100 retailers.

But since the 2010s, post-patent product fortunes have waned. In the 2010 CropLife 100 survey, only 24% of ag retailers reported that they sold generic products in their outlets. In 2011, this figure had dropped to 21%. Would the segment rebound in 2012, some wondered, or would the market share slide continue?

Well, the numbers are in — and they are down again. In the 2012 CropLife 100 survey, only 19% of ag retailers said they still sell post-patent products to their grower-customers.

According to many of those surveyed, grower-customers seem to trust mainstream brands to perform better for them. “I still carry some generics for a few of my customers, but most of them like getting a main name brand because they trust it more,” wrote one CropLife 100 survey respondent.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Survey: Crop Protection Products Losing Market Share In Ag Retail

  1. I appreciate the chance to comment on your articles. I agree with the information and see similar trends in my business. Our business model has always stressed the importance of name brand products; the market is starting to realize the importance of main stream brands.

Latest News
Soil Young Corn
Crop InputsSmithsonian: 5 Things to Know About New GMO Labeling Bi…
July 27, 2016
On July 14, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring large food companies to label products containing genetically modified Read More
Palmer pigweed in soybean stubble
HerbicidesSpecial Issue Of Weed Science Explores Human Aspects Of…
July 27, 2016
Weeds that evolve resistance to herbicides are a serious threat to global agricultural production. In this Special Issue of Weed Science, Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100CHS Businesses In Washington, Idaho Combining For Great…
July 27, 2016
As full-service ag retailers, CHS Primeland and CHS Farmers Co-op collectively serve farmers and other customers in 15 counties in Read More
Storage Tanks at Nachurs
Crop InputsNACHURS Joins Field to Market
July 27, 2016
NACHURS announced today that it has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a leading multi-stakeholder initiative working Read More
Illinois Researchers
FertilizerMeasure Of Age In Soil Nitrogen Could Help Precision Ag…
July 26, 2016
What’s good for crops is not always good for the environment. Nitrogen, a key nutrient for plants, can cause problems Read More
Kochia
Crop InputsNufarm Launches New Herbicide for Resistant Kochia
July 25, 2016
Nufarm introduces Scorch herbicide for U.S. farmers and ranchers combating a broad range of troublesome broadleaf weeds. A unique premix Read More
ManagementNew Rabobank Report Calls for Farmer ROI Focus
July 25, 2016
As U.S. row crop farmers brace themselves for a third year of negative margins, Rabobank believes farmers must lower the Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsBloomberg: Syngenta-Chem China Deal on Track for Regula…
July 25, 2016
Syngenta AG, which has agreed to be taken over by China National Chemical Corp. for $43 billion, said talks with Read More
ManagementGROWMARK Meeting Visit, Company Takeover Updates, and R…
July 22, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent speaking engagement at GROWMARK’s eastern event, crop protection company merger rumors, Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto: EU Approves Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Imports
July 22, 2016
Monsanto Co. announced today that the European Commission has granted import approval for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans. This milestone Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Announces Alfalfa Seed Split Off
July 22, 2016
On September 1, 2016, Syngenta will transfer sales and distribution of alfalfa seed to the NEXGROW branded business that is Read More
Dow DuPont
Crop InputsDuPont, Dow Shareholders Approve Merger
July 21, 2016
DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company announced that, at their respective special meetings of stockholders held today, stockholders of both Read More
ManagementLand O’Lakes Announces SUSTAIN Business Unit, Oth…
July 20, 2016
Land O’Lakes, Inc. today announced the formal organization of a new business unit, SUSTAIN, and its leadership. SUSTAIN will focus Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Crop InputsReport: Bayer Shareholder Proposes Monsanto ‘Host…
July 20, 2016
One of Bayer AG’s top 20 shareholders said Wednesday it may make sense for the life-science company to launch an Read More
Young Corn Closeup
Industry NewsNew Leaf Symbiotics Snags Former Monsanto Microbials Le…
July 20, 2016
NewLeaf Symbiotics, announced today the appointment of Dr. Janne Kerovuo as Vice President for Research and Discovery.  Dr. Kerovuo comes Read More
Corn and ditch
ManagementStudy: Saturated Buffers Reduce Nitrates From Subsurfac…
July 19, 2016
The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition (ADMC), Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentAgronomists, CCAs, Custom Applicators Invited To FSR Ag…
July 19, 2016
Agronomists, Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) and custom applicators can stay current on agronomy issues on the grounds of the Farm Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of…
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More