Big trends are emerging in ag retail, with maximizing and consolidating being a few examples. What does an online purchase mean for a farmer and for ag retail? How has the pandemic affected ag retail in general?

For today’s RealAg LIVE! host Shaun Haney is joined by Margy Eckelkamp, editor of The Scoop.

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!

SUMMARY

  • Margy is based in Missouri (near St. Louis)
  • The Scoop is a multi-media brand that serves farmers, farm retails, etc.
  • Maximizers and influencers
  • Cycles of consolidation?
  • Margy divides ag retail into three “buckets” : regional independents, cooperatives, and privately held companies
  • Some big cooperatives in Iowa are consolidating and making big changes
  • What is the race for? Size and scale.
  • What gives independent retailers an advantage (or disadvantage) over the larger companies?
  • Selling on service has become pretty tough, in the last 4 years
  • Online crop-input purchasing. Fertilizer, seed, crop production products
  • Pre- and post-emergent herbicides were the first to be bought a lot online. Bulk fertilizer followed
  • Majority of seed that is being bought online or on a digital platform is being done with the help of an agronomist
  • Precision ag component plays into it too
  • If a farmer won the lottery, what precision ag tool would they invest in first?
  • Margy also works with Machinery Pete (Greg Peterson)
  • COVID forced online auctions about seven years into the future, figures Margy and Machinery Pete
  • Farmers said that when dealing with their primary retailer, 84 per cent of them call to talk to one specific person
  • The Scoop just published their annual salary survey for sales agronomists or farm applicators; local competition impacts entry-level salary
  • Beyond compensation?
  • Financial health of the ag retail space right now? The tone of conversations has changed.
  • “Market dollars have a greater velocity than government dollars”
  • Maximizing the tools that are available
  • Environmental regulations, the costs that go with them, and the impact on ag retails, e.g. fertilizer
  • Will more independent ag retails pop up?
  • How have companies like Meristem Crop Performance been received by traditional retailers in the U.S.?
  • Can industry supply increased requests for fungicides? So many industries are struggling to meet demand

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