News Release: Farm Consolidation Offers Opportunities to Agricultural Retailers Who Adapt
Report on US Channel Power available now.
PUSLINCH, Ontario—Loyal customers are an agricultural retailer’s most valuable assets. In fact, 92 percent of United States farmers who consider themselves loyal to their retailers will recommend them to peers.
Yet, retailers must earn and re-earn this loyalty, especially in this time of consolidation and farms expansion. Findings from a recent Stratus Ag Research Report about farmer perceptions of ag retailers show that loyalty to retailers in the U.S. is lowest among those farmers who plan to increase their farm size in the next five years. The study is designed to help retailers grow by knowing what farmers want from them, and to understand competitor strengths and weaknesses.
Most farmers surveyed feel it is important to receive soil sampling, crop scouting and other agronomic services from their ag retailer.
“Retailers offering agronomic services earn more purchases, increase their influence over buying decisions and earn customer loyalty,” says Krista MacLean, Project Manager with Stratus Ag Research. “But the study also highlights that as farm size grows, farmers are more likely to source agronomic services from independent crop advisors not affiliated with ag retailers. The need for custom application services from ag retailer declines, while the use of independent crop advisors for precision agriculture services, such as variable rate prescription maps, imagery and weather data increases.”
She adds that more than 25 percent of farmers with more than 3,000 acres are purchasing agronomic services such as fertility planning and crop scouting from an independent crop advisor. The risk to ag retailers is that the outsourcing of agronomic expertise devalues their role on farm, and results in a loss of customer loyalty.
“The opportunity for today’s ag retailers is to assess their future service and staffing offerings, so that they can increase their value to farmers and ensure they meet the evolving needs of the large farm.”