What Are Farmers Looking for in a Pre-Emergent Corn Herbicide?

Product choice is a wonderful thing. It provides great opportunities to try something new; yet, it can be frustrating as you try to decide which product will work best for you. How do you make that purchase decision?

Now think about your customer as he tries to decide which crop protection product he should purchase for his crop.  What is going through his mind as he sifts through all the literature, gathers advice from his retailer, and sips coffee with the gang?  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what he is looking for in a crop protection product?

In the summer of 2019, Stratus completed a series of Brand Focus360 surveys with US farmers.  One of the markets studied was pre-emergent, broad-spectrum herbicides in corn, a market that is characterized by many competing products with similar features and benefits.  The study examined various metrics ranging from grower brand perceptions to channel effort to promotions.

Focusing on brand perceptions, we asked farmers to rate a series of factors as most important and least important when they were deciding which pre-emergent corn herbicide to use.  Additionally, the factors were correlated with preferred brands.  The resulting analysis provided a blueprint of the factors that drive farmers’ decision making in the pre-emergent, corn herbicide market.

So, what factors are important to corn farmers and correlated with preferred pre-emergent herbicides?  As depicted below, performance factors reign supreme in corn farmers’ decision making: consistent control; control of the full range of weeds; control of heavy weed pressures; and residual control. 

Yet, value still enters the equation.  Corn farmers want solid performance from their pre-emergent herbicides, but it must be balanced with good value.  Remember that value lies on a continuum between performance and cost.  In this market, value is not so much dependent on the cost of the herbicide as the Low Cost factor is considered of low importance and not strongly correlated with preferred brands (lower right quadrant in chart).  Rather, it is the performance factors that collectively influence a farmer’s decision for a pre-emergent corn herbicide.

What about your brand?  How does it stack up against these factors?

In 2020, Stratus will field Brand Focus360 studies in many crops and crop protection categories across the US.  Their results will provide companies who purchase them with strategic insights for brand positioning, channel evaluations, promotions, and more.  They are essential contributions to a company’s long-range planning process and resource allocation. 

For more information about Brand Focus360 studies, contact: