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.

Featured Stories
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific Findings On Glyphosate
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safety Amid Troubling Report
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
Chuck Gates, Ohio CCA of the Year
ManagementOABA Honors 2015 Certified Crop Adviser Of The Year
March 16, 2015
Chuck Gates, of Tiffin, OH, has been named the 2015 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Board and will receive $1,500 provided by DuPont Pioneer. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More