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

Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environmental Respect Award Honors
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis To Relocate Agribusiness Division To Denver
July 16, 2014
The move Eastward will allow Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division to be more accessible to relevant geographies and is expected to enhance communication and collaboration among the division’s nearly 3,000 employees. Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesValent Launches New Seed Protection Fungicide For Soybeans
July 16, 2014
The INTEGO SUITE System contains the first new, novel seed protection fungicide chemistry registered in 30 years by the EPA for protection against Pythium and Phytophthora. Read More
LegislationUSDA: Quick Implementation Of Disaster Assistance Programs A ‘Top Priority’
July 9, 2014
USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between Oct. 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill. Read More

Trending Articles

Green Valley Ag facility
Retail FacilitiesGreen Valley Ag Adopts A.J. Sackett’s Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology At New Facility
July 8, 2014
Sackett's Precision Fertilizer Blending® Technology is making huge strides around the world. Green Valley Ag adopts the technology at its new facility to support its advancing agronomic needs. Read More
Retail FacilitiesWaconia Manufacturing Builds Facility Designed For Speed, Efficiency
July 7, 2014
To make its new hub facility more efficient, Cooperative Elevator enlisted the aid of Waconia Manufacturing. Read More
EquipmentSummer Show Preview 2014: Superior Sprayers Take The Field
July 3, 2014
In this final installment of our coverage of the major categories of Big IRON that retailers can expect to test-drive at this summer’s events, here is a look at 19 sprayers. Read More
Scouting a soybean patch at Green Valley Ag.
EmployeesCropLife Compensation Survey: Battling Talent Drain
July 2, 2014
Retailers too often lose employees to companies outside of agriculture, while recruiting efforts are most often limited to competitors and other ag-focused organizations. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Introduces SureStart II Herbicide
June 16, 2014
The enhanced formulation has improved viscosity and increased stability under heat and controls more than 60 high-anxiety grasses and broadleaf weeds found in corn fields. Read More
HerbicidesBASF Investing $270 Million To Expand U.S. Herbicide Production
June 11, 2014
BASF has invested more than $270 million to expand herbicide production capacities in the U.S., including more than 20 new products to be launched over next two years. Read More

Latest News

StewardshipMonsanto Joins Panel Of Innovators To Advance Research …
July 30, 2014
Monsanto Co. and The Climate Corp., its division, recently joined a roundtable of experts at the White House to share ideas and research approaches to help the world’s farmers manage and adapt to the impact of climate change on the global food supply. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Checkoff Produces Big ROI
July 30, 2014
Under the soy checkoff program, all U.S. soybean farmers contribute a small percentage of their gross soybean sales for research and marketing projects that maximize their profit potential. Read More
CropLife 100Learfield Sports, CHS Agree To Football-Centric, Colleg…
July 30, 2014
CHS Inc. will embark on a highly integrated collegiate sports sponsorship platform with 24 Division I universities in 19 states designed to reach the farmer-owned cooperative's rural owners and customers. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Forms New Organizational Structure For Its…
July 30, 2014
The new structure will provide more responsive internal support and will allow regional vice presidents and area managers to spend more time with customers, on talent development and on operational excellence across branches. Read More
Palmer pigweed in cotton
HerbicidesNew Training Modules On Herbicide Resistance Now Availa…
July 30, 2014
The Weed Science Society of America has announced the availability of three new education modules on herbicide resistance in weeds. Read More
HerbicidesWillowood To Market Glufosinate
July 28, 2014
Willowood USA recently announced that Federal EPA has approved its technical registration for glufosinate. Read More
InsecticidesHow To Scout For Corn Earworms In Corn
July 28, 2014
In her weekly report, University of Missouri Agronomy Specialist Jill Scheidt discusses what to look for when scouting for corn earworm. Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer, Weyerhaeuser Enter Technology License A…
July 28, 2014
The agreement brings together agricultural and forestry know-how to sustainably improve crop productivity for corn growers around the world. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Launches Global iPad App
July 28, 2014
The free AGCO Global iPad App can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store and features the full family of RoGator self-propelled sprayers and TerraGator high-floatation spreaders. Read More
Eric SfiligojYuma Centennial Ag Supply Earns 2014 National Environme…
July 28, 2014
Colorado-based ag retailer receives top trophy in 24th annual DuPont Crop Protection/CropLife ceremony. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Forms Alliance With Wildlife Managment, Seed O…
July 25, 2014
The strategic alliance will provide Tecomate with key wildlife products, processing facilities, distribution centers and sales through Pinnacle’s ever-growing retail network. Read More
ManagementFranken Presses White House On RFS Support
July 25, 2014
Al Franken and a group of Senate democrats recently met with senior White House official John Podesta to urge the administration to change its position on an EPA proposal. Read More
ManagementASA, FarmLink To Launch ‘Operation Benchmark̵…
July 25, 2014
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and FarmLink are teaming up to help farmers close the $11 billion gap between what they harvested in 2013 and what they could harvest annually. Read More
StewardshipNorthey: Farmers Commit $1.4 Million to Try New Water Q…
July 25, 2014
The practices that are eligible for funding include cover crops, no-till or strip till and using a nitrification inhibitor when applying fall fertilizer. Read More
Precision AgFarmers Learn How Changing World Will Impact Iowa
July 24, 2014
Technology and understanding global consumer demand for Iowa farm products brought hundreds of farmers and agribusiness leaders to Ames recently for the annual Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Economic Summit. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue: Late Season Weeds May Require Manual Removal
July 24, 2014
Hand-rouging and pulling late season weeds by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says. Read More
Soybean Field
InsecticidesTransform WG, Closer SC Insecticides Receive R&D 10…
July 23, 2014
Dow AgroSciences has received the award from R&D Magazine for Transform WG insecticide and Closer SC insecticide with Isoclast active. Read More