Most Farmers Prefer Original Crop Protection Brands, but Value for Money Drives Purchase Decisions Insights

Stratus Ag Research recently released the 2018 Generic Crop Protection Product Use & Attitude report. The primary purpose of this study is to better understand farmer attitudes and behaviours regarding the use of generic crop protection products (and inoculants) in Western Canada. The secondary purpose of the study is to define the current position of FNA (AgraCity), assess the perceived strengths/weaknesses of the FNA offer and determine the level of farmer interest in purchasing from FNA now and in the future.

The following are a few key insights derived from the report.

  • Generic herbicides are used extensively especially at the pre-seed and post-emergent timing. Use in 2018 would have been higher, but narrow price differentials, performance concerns and lack of availability prevented some growers from using a generic – even though they considered using one.
  • Ag retailers are the leading source of information for both generics and original brands – and considered a trusted advisor. By far traditional retailers are the main sources – and the most preferred sources of purchase for generics.
  • When choosing a generic or original brand, value for money is the key driver; but other factors play a role.
  • Programs (particularly ones that include canola seed) have proven to be an effective way to increase value for money. Few farmers will consider a generic unless the price differential is > 10%.
  • Farmers believe that original brands are better than generics.  Key strengths of original brands - superior product quality, product performance (efficacy), agronomic support (knowledge, relationships and service), and product warranty (risk management).
  • Users of generic brands are mostly satisfied with both the performance and purchase experience.
  • Most farmers have heard of FNA (AgraCity), but interest is low and they have a minor share of the CP market. FNA has more lapsed members than current members; and many current members are not thrilled. 

The report contains information about the following topics:

  • Brand shares, retail source of purchase, satisfaction, willingness to recommend, brand consideration, intentions for 2019, preference for generics vs. original brands and price differentials for major markets: pre-seed herbicides, post herbicides, pre-harvest herbicides, fungicides and inoculants.
  • Generic company and brand awareness, drivers of preference for generics and originals and perceptions of generics vs. original brands.
  • Retailer relationships with farmers, preferred purchase sources for generics and preferred sources of information for generics vs. original brands.
  • Market position of FNA (AgraCity), membership profile, reasons for becoming a member, reasons for letting membership lapse, reasons for never becoming a member, reaction to membership fee.
  • Market position of CP manufacturers, use of programs, vulnerability to generics for original brand manufacturers.

The report delivers actionable insights that clients can use to plan generic defense strategies for their off-patent branded products.

For more information about the Farmer Feedback study, contact: