Most Common Cliches at Plot Tours

By Shaun Haney
Most of you will have attended different plot tours through the summer. No matter which ones you attended you are very likely to of heard the same jargon, lingo and company speak at every single one. Even though all manufacturers, service providers and breeding programs are committed to research, product development and cutting edge technologies eveyone seems to be less committed to coming up with different language. Its interesting that even though the industry competes very vigorously, everyone speaks the same marketing language. In reality this is all about sales and convincing the farmer who has the best product or service. We joke about politicians talking without saying anything but I think as marketers we can fall into some of the same traps. I know that I have to sometimes catch myself from talking with this same empty cliche language when I discuss our vareties at our seed business. These cliches can become a bad habit for anyone that markets.
As an industry we could do ourselves a service by talking in a language that wasn’t tied to keywords and buzzwords that we want tied to the corporate brand. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t just an agriculture issue. Walk into a Future Shop or a car company show room and you will find the same empty cliche language.

Here are some of my favorites that I heard this summer.

  • are pipeline is full of cutting edge products
  • our data shows incredible results for this area
  • the performance of this product is outstanding based on our results.
  • our commitment to research over the past ten years is now paying off.
  • This [….] is an absolute game changer in the market place.
  • This will change the way we think about……..

This is just the list that came to me so please feel free to enter some of your favorites in the comment box below. Happy Harvest.


Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of @shaunhaney


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My favorite is when companies say, “Independent agronomist Dr. ##### loves our new product.” In reality Dr. ##### said that the product has potential. People love to exaggerate.


My favorite research misrepresentation was Dutch Industries’ advertisements from a couple years ago promising tens of thousands of dollars more per year by switching to their product in both wheat AND canola!

The claims were based on a Montana study that dealt with wheat only, and the study actually found no significant difference between any of the openers in the test!

“…dollars per acre increase” is probably the worst hook and easiest to fall for.

I am in the midst of harvesting fungicide check strips in my durum, and for all the hype, I did not gain a single bushel from Headline, but between 2 and 3 bushels from Folicur

Rick Taillieu

Don’t be too hard on presenters at tours… cliches are just another tool in the toolbox, these people are working tirelessly, and they are all giving 110 %

Sometimes even they don’t want to use the cliches, but in the end they do, and take one for the team.


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