U.S. Retail Crop Protection Sales Hit $9.3 Billion in 2014

Top-25According to the 2014 CropLife 100 survey, the crop protection products category followed up on its 8% gain (in terms of retailer revenue) in 2013 with another 9% boost during 2014. Sales volume for the category now sits at $9.3 billion. Furthermore, crop protection products now account for 31% of all crop inputs/services revenues for the top ag retailers in the United States — the category’s highest market share in eight years.

“Demand for crop protection products has definitely grown the past two seasons,” says Amy Asmus, co-owner of Asmus Farm Supply, Rake, IA, which derives more than 80% of its annual income from the category. “As growers have been forced to combat harder-to-control weeds, they are increasingly turning to different products to help accomplish this. That has provided a tremendous boost in overall crop protection product sales.”

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Weed Worries
Based upon the latest available data, more than 20 states have at least one form of herbicide-resistant weed in their crop fields. This has forced growers to increasingly find new ways to manage them than what they’ve did in the past.

With herbicide-resistant weeds on the march across the U.S., CropLife 100 ag retailers saw a decided uptick in their overall herbicide sales during 2014. According to the survey, 75% of respondents recorded a 1% to more than 5% increase in their herbicide revenues during the year. Another 13% had flat sales. Only 12% reported a decline in their herbicide sales in 2014.

For herbicide prospects for the future, things look even brighter. As new cropping systems tied to dicamba and 2,4-D come into the market during 2015, ag retailers expect the segment’s sales to remain strong for some time to come.

Growing-Weed-PressuresNot As Much Fungicides
As herbicides were enjoying renewed interest during 2014, another crop protection category segment, fungicides, were not. For the past several years, fungicide use as a preventive has increased among grower-customers looking to boost their crop yields in the era of $7 per bushel corn. But now that corn prices have dropped back into the $4.25 per bushel range, this trend has slowed down significantly.

In fact, according to statistics gathered in the 2014 CropLife 100 survey, the nation’s ag retailers saw a big pullback in fungicide use during the year. In 2013, 82% of respondents said 6% to more than 75% of their grower-customers were using fungicide application as a preventive measure in their crop fields. For 2014, however, this percentage has dropped to 76%.

For insecticides, 2014 was also a rough year. During 2013, this segment had 1% to more than 5% sales increases for 72% of CropLife 100 ag retailers. But in 2014, this percentage dropped to only 45%. Instead, 31% of respondents said their insecticide sales for the year were down 1% to more than 5%.

 

Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from FCI’s sister publication CropLife®