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New Report Released:  Channel Influence on Crop Protection Decisions

Stratus Ag Research recently released the 2018 Channel Influence on Crop Protection Decisions, a survey of 1,000 farmers in the US MidWest. Designed to enable Crop Protection companies to evaluate their push vs. pull marketing strategies by knowing how retailers influence purchase decisions today and how that might change in the future.

A few of the study highlights are included below:

  • Not surprisingly, retailers have a lot of control. Over 60% of the time, retailers are involved in the CP purchase decision. And nearly 70% of farmers purchase their CP products exclusively from one retailer.  Retailers have influence when they deliver services, engage with their customers in multiple types of touchpoints and focus discussions on technical or service related aspects (not price).
  • 60% of farmers say that their main retailer helps them with product evaluation, but half of those farmers are not fully satisfied with the retailer’s support.  And many farmers would find support in this area to be useful but are not getting it from their retailer. For example, 20% of farmers would find a brand cost comparison to be useful, but their retailer is not providing it.
  • In the MidWest, Coops have the strongest market position.  They have the most locations and the highest market share.  They do a lot more custom application, more crop scouting, more herbicide rotational plans and more CP record keeping. They are more involved in the problem identification stage, they more often provide brand comparisons, make specific product recommendations and know more about precision ag. But they are higher priced. 
  • 20% of CP purchase decisions are made prior to year-end, and 40% during the winter/spring before planting.  Many farmers are busy evaluating product alternatives with their retailer during the November to February period.
  • On 40% of total crop acres, retailers have limited to no impact on CP purchase decisions. These farmers tend to be large, increasing the size of their operation, younger, more transactional in their approach and more often use an independent crop adviser. These farmers say that they rely on themselves to make decisions.
  • 20% of farmers are keenly interested in online purchasing of CP products; higher among large farmers.  13% have interacted with FBN in 2018, but only 3% purchased product (double that among large farmers).  Traditional retailers are responding with their own online offers.

The 2018 Channel Influence on Crop Protection Decisions report contains actionable insights that clients can use to:

  • Allocate resources between push and pull strategies.
  • Plan for changes in the Customer Decision Journey, and adjust their strategies.
  • Identify gaps in retailer involvement in the decision making process, and fill those gaps.
  • Understand threats to traditional ag retail, and take steps to mitigate their own risk.
  • Assess channel capabilities to influence product decisions, and align their own efforts.
  • Understand differences in retailer influence for herbicides vs. fungicides, and adapt their own activities.

Contact Krista MacLean at (204) 745-5853 or for more information.

By Vice-President, Client Services

Krista MacLean has been studying trends in agriculture in both Canada and the US since 2013 when she first joined Sratus Ag Research.  Krista specializes in helping clients extract valuable insights from syndicated market research, as well as developing the study content and methodology for their proprietary research needs.  Her marketing background and extensive practical knowledge of the agriculture industry enable Krista to assist clients in turning research insights into effective strategies for their agribusinesses.

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