Ag Suppliers Aiming for 2020
As the unofficial end of the winter trade show season, the annual Commodity Classic show typically features a host of new products and releases for the upcoming growing season. And at the 2019 event, held in late February in Orlando, FL, there were more than a few new product launches being discussed.
However, many of these were being targeted for release during the 2020 growing season, not this year’s. This was common refrain from many supplier representatives. For example, BASF discussed the introduction of its new active ingredient, mefentrifluconazole. To be marketed under the trade name Revysol, this new fungicide is expected to gain regulatory approval for the corn and soybean markets during the summer, with a widespread introduction set for the 2020 growing season, according to Matt Bradley, Product AI Manager for BASF.
Equipment makers likewise seem to have one eye on the 2020 growing season. For instance, AGCO Corp. is upgrading its RoGator C Series to include added in-cab capabilities and added a ladder on the back of the unit that can move across the entire rear of the machine. According to the company, orders for this new RoGator will be taken during the spring of 2019 “for delivery to customers in time for the 2020 calendar year.”
So why is this focus one year beyond 2019 happening? Many watchers offered a few explanations. According to some, the lateness of the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill (not signed until early December) added another layer of uncertainty to the agricultural economic outlook. Coupled with the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China and the lengthy government shutdown during the early part of the 2019, some ag suppliers were probably hedging their bets that 2020 would be a more “certain” year to focus upon.
Others believed that given the current regulatory environment towards gaining approvals for many crop protection/seed innovations, ag suppliers are moving more cautiously when it comes to introducing new products. Finally, a few people simply thought that 2020 seemed like a more “special year,” number-wise, than 2019 did, so suppliers deliberately targeting one vs. the other.
Whatever the case, 2019 might seem a bit slower with new product releases than normal. But 2020 ought to be something special indeed.