Online crop input buying climbs, but through unexpected channels


Farmers are buying more crop inputs online than they were five years ago, however what’s considered “buying online” might surprise you. According to the latest findings of Farm Journal’s crop input buying survey, 53 per cent of farmers considered it buying online if they researched a product online and then picked up the phone to order.

Margy Eckelkamp is the editor of The Scoop and Top Producer, and joined Shaun Haney to discuss this U.S.-based survey and what it suggests about farmers’ buying habits.

She says the survey shows that online buying of inputs has increased, but the vast majority of farmers are not using online purchasing options. That said, there was a significant increase in online buying during the pandemic and resulting supply shortages.

The supply chain interruptions of the pandemic have made lasting shifts in how ag retail plans for herbicide or fertilizer supply, Eckelkamp says, and it has shaped how farmers order and purchase product, too.

Price is still the biggest driving factor for product decisions, but it’s followed closely by the availability of what farmers need when they need it, she says. The most common products “purchased” online include herbicides, adjuvants, and fertilizer.

Eckelkamp says that what’s interesting, too, is that ag retail has adapted to how farmers are purchasing, and is moving away from fully online buying platforms to more “grower portals” that are information-based.

Watch here for the full discussion on the survey, and tap here to see the RealAgristudies report for Canadian data!

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