The Next Wave

As you may have already read on p. 38 (“Hot Commodities”), Eric Sfiligoj and I attended the Commodity Classic last month in Tampa. For those who might not know, this is the official national meeting for the American Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, and for the first time this year, the National Association of Wheat Growers. It’s a mix of business, education, and fun, and serves as the “final fling” before growers return to the field. They do hold the meeting in warm weather cities at the end of the cold winter, after all.

Anyway, I always feel a bit like a spy at this meeting — it’s built for the grower community, so as a representative of the distribution channel, I always feel like I’m getting a taste of the mood of the grower, as well as how products are marketed to row crop growers when the retailer isn’t “in the room,” so to speak.

Most of the things that struck us as interesting or important are highlighted in the aforementioned feature, but I wanted to give a little more ink to developments in one particular area — basic manufacturers.

Not too long ago, as Roundup Ready technology and Bacillus thuringiensis-infused crops swallowed up billions of dollars in revenue from crop protection manufacturers and the retail distribution channel, we were all wondering how much we really needed from basic manufacturers anymore. Common sense would dictate that at some point, Mother Nature would catch up and challenge the incredible performance of these technologies, requiring revolutionary new chemistry and biotechnology developments. But for a while, they seemed invincible.

Of course, along comes Roundup-tolerant and -resistant weeds, followed quickly by Asian soybean rust, soybean aphids, leaf beetles, and other pests. Not to mention the biofuels revolution that’s feeding the current drive for higher yields that not long ago could not deliver enough profit to provide adequate payback.

Enter basic crop protection and biotech research companies, who at Commodity Classic were remarkably bullish on their long-term developments and eager to share with attendees. Du­Pont talked about its Optimum GAT trait, which will provide glyphosate and ALS inhibitor tolerance, while Monsanto explained its YieldGard VT technology, which it says will lead to performance-enhanced stacked trait hybrids in its next generation YieldGard releases.

Dow AgroSciences, BASF, Syngenta, and Bayer CropScience also discussed loaded pipelines and big future developments anticipated as soon as the 2008 season and projected as far down the road as 2013. In discussing some of these longer range forecasts for the basics, one exec I talked to insisted that we’re simply in the midst of one of those cycles, when years of research across companies is beginning to come to fruition at the same time.

Regardless of the precise reason why, for retailers the pipeline should factor into the kind of partnership retailers forge with basic manufacturers. R&D is what sets them apart from the pack, and what they are bringing to agriculture over the next five to seven years should have play in any decision about the company and products that retailers represent.   

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementWashington Visit and Bayer/Monsanto Deal Update
May 26, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discusses a recent trip to DC and the latest news on the proposed pairing Read More
Fertilizer closeup in hand
Industry NewsVerdesian: Striking A Balance Between Yield & ROI
May 26, 2016
Finely tuned nutrient management plans are helping farmers throughout the U.S. improve nutrient use efficiency, increase return on investment (ROI) Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Announces Minnesota Water Quality Pa…
May 25, 2016
Governor Mark Dayton and Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and CEO Chris Policinski today announced a new public-private partnership to protect Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
Industry NewsMonsanto Rejects Bayer Bid; Open To More Talks
May 25, 2016
Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, turned down Bayer AG’s $62 billion acquisition bid as “incomplete and financially inadequate” Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsArysta LifeScience Establishes Global Headquarters In R…
May 25, 2016
Arysta LifeScience has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters from West Palm Beach, FL, to Cary, NC, over the Read More
fertilizer blending and storage, Top 100
BlendersCHS Dakota Expansion Features AGCO’s GSI InterSys…
May 25, 2016
The continued growth of precision agriculture has increased farmer use of customized fertilizer blends best-suited for their soil conditions. Several Read More
ManagementAgriculture 3.5: A Bumpy Road Ahead
May 24, 2016
You may have read my article a few years ago on Agriculture 3.0, which is a term I coined to Read More
Topcon’s X30 display with CropSpec sensors
EquipmentGPS Autosteer Systems: Product Updates From Precision A…
May 24, 2016
Throughout 2015 GPS Steering solutions continued to evolve from what was once an after-market add on, to today’s cab where Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojThe Precision Ag Revolution Continues
May 24, 2016
It’s funny how much “the first time” tends to mean to someone as they get older. I sometimes can’t recall Read More
Eric Wintemute, AMVAC
Precision AgAMVAC Ups The Ante With New Precision Ag Technology
May 24, 2016
A potentially industry-changing at-plant soil treatment system from American Vanguard Corp., or AMVAC, is coming soon to large growers in Read More
Dry and Liquid Plant
CropLife 100CropLife 100 Map
May 24, 2016
The new CropLife 100 map shows the locations of each of the headquarters of the 2015 CropLife 100 retailers. The interactive Read More
Southern States Cooperative
Corn Field
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Names Veteran Account Manager To Lead Central…
May 23, 2016
With the continuing growth of the sulphur bentonite and precision crop nutrient industry, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has announced that Read More
Bayer sign
Industry NewsReuters: Bayer Defies Critics With $62 Billion Monsanto…
May 23, 2016
German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer has offered to buy U.S. seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion in cash, Read More
Eric SfiligojPity The Monsanto Haters
May 23, 2016
An old saying goes thus: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” Given current events, there Read More
Industry NewsCompass Minerals Hires Industry Veteran To Lead Plant N…
May 19, 2016
Compass Minerals has hired plant nutrition industry veteran Vatren Jurin to steer the company’s portfolio expansion into specialty liquid micronutrient Read More
ASMARK Retailers LIVE! Tour 2016 Group shot The Andersons
CropLife 100The Andersons Rejects Unsolicited Proposal From HC2
May 19, 2016
The Andersons, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has rejected two non-binding, highly conditional, unsolicited proposals from HC2 Read More
glyphosate
Crop InputsWHO: Glyphosate ‘Unlikely’ To Cause Cancer
May 16, 2016
Via Reuters.com reporter Kate Kelland: The weed-killing pesticide glyphosate, made by Monsanto and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, Read More