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
MAGIE 2015 Overview
Eric SfiligojThe Read From MAGIE
August 29, 2016
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL. Being Read More
EquipmentAGCO Opens Nominations For 11th Annual Operator Of The …
August 29, 2016
AGCO Corp. is now accepting nominations for 2016 Operator of the Year, which recognizes hard-working applicators across the country. These Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
CropLife 100CHS Completes $10 Million Renovation Of St. Paul Agrono…
August 29, 2016
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has completed a $10 million Read More
2016 ShowStopper | Case IH Patriot 4440 Sprayer
Equipment5 Show-stopping Products On Display At 2016 MAGIE
August 26, 2016
For 10 years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with voting for Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
EquipmentCase IH Debuts Nutri-Tiller 955 Strip-Till Applicator
August 24, 2016
With strip-till continuing to expand across new acres, Case IH designed the new Nutri-Tiller 955 strip-till applicator to help producers Read More
EquipmentCase Launches Aim Command FLEX, 25th Anniversary Patrio…
August 24, 2016
Case IH announces new AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology for greater application accuracy, as well as special 25th Anniversary Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More