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
Crop Protection Products in storage
Crop InputsNewsweek: World Is ‘Awash In Glyphosate’
February 11, 2016
The world is awash in glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, produced by Monsanto. It has now become Read More
Crop InputsEPA: Let’s Talk Imidacloprid, Bees On February 18
February 11, 2016
EPA will hold an online technical briefing on its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on Feb. Read More
ManagementThe latest on Syngenta-ChemChina Deal
February 11, 2016
Executive Editor Paul Schrimpf invites Jackie Pucci and Dave Frabotta from sister publication AgriBusiness Global to discuss the latest developments Read More
AdjuvantsUniversity of Illinois Confirms Adjuvant’s Perfor…
February 11, 2016
An independent University of Illinois study has shown that WETCIT adjuvant, now with TransPhloem technology, provides greater herbicide uptake and Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta’s Acuron Flexi Receives EPA Approval
February 11, 2016
Growers looking to control their toughest weeds with flexibility will have access to Acuron Flexi corn herbicide from Syngenta, now Read More
EquipmentAGCO Showcases White Planters 9800VE Series Planters AT…
February 11, 2016
AGCO unveiled the new White Planters 9800VE Series planter during the 2016 National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The Read More
EquipmentCase Unveils 2000 Series Early Riser Planter At NFMS
February 10, 2016
Case IH revealed the all-new 2000 Series Early Riser planter to media and attendees at the opening of the National Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsSyngenta: Keep Ag In Mind During Election Season
February 10, 2016
As presidential candidates stake out their 2016 election platforms and key priorities, growers and their business partners should seek opportunities Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Submits New Bio-Fungicide For E…
February 9, 2016
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) today announced that it has submitted a new biological fungicide (MBI-110) to EPA. The broad spectrum Read More
Crop InputsWeed Expert: Adding A Second Herbicide Not Always Easy
February 9, 2016
In my last post, I reviewed some recent research that suggests one of the best ways to delay the evolution Read More
Crop InputsGenetic Literacy Project: Farmers Need More Herbicide C…
February 9, 2016
There are two things that I think just about every weed scientist can agree on, writes Andrew Kniss for The Read More
HerbicidesWeed Expert Warns North Dakota Growers Of Coming Herbic…
February 9, 2016
Ford Baldwin painted a bleak picture of weed control at a recent workshop here exploring the future of ag production, Read More
HerbicidesWSSA Announces New, Updated Free Web Resources
February 9, 2016
Today the Weed Science Society of American (WSSA) announced that new and updated educational materials for both weed scientists and Read More
Soybean field
FungicidesFour Arysta Fungicide Formulations Given FIFRA Approval…
February 8, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the issuance of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 2(ee) Recommendations for Read More
FungicidesAgri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus Receives EPA Registrat…
February 8, 2016
Vivid Life Sciences has announced the EPA registration of Agri-Fos Systemic Fungicide Plus, a highly concentrated active ingredient phosphite fungicide, Read More
Crop InputsBayer Contests EPA’s Decision On Valuable Insecticide F…
February 5, 2016
Crop Science, a division of Bayer, has announced it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Read More
Wheat Field North Dakota
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Wins Seed Fraud Suit Against South Dakota Grow…
February 5, 2016
Syngenta has obtained a $25,000 settlement from Paul and John Mayclin, Mayclin Farms, Plankinton, SD, in response to their Plant Read More
ManagementOABA Annual Conference Wraps Up In Columbus
February 5, 2016
More than 300 Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) members and industry professionals were on hand to engage in collaborative learning and Read More