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Spring 2020 Agronomy Outlook

Apr 14 2020

Spring 2020 Agronomy Outlook: Retailers Are Adequately Prepared to Ride Out the Storm

Last year, producers of corn, soybeans and wheat faced a complicated growing season, characterized by bad weather and excessive flooding, trade tensions, low grain prices and margin pressures. To assess how operational and financial hangovers of 2019 may affect crop input retailers in 2020, CoBank analyzed consolidated U.S. farm financial data and its own customer database.

The conclusion:  weather permitting, ag retailers are reasonably well positioned for an improved outlook on sales and services this spring.

  • Financial data remain in line with 2018, indicating a stable-to-improved outlook for agronomy sales and services.
  • Ag retailers’ inventories of seeds, agrochemicals and fertilizer should meet customer needs during the 2020 planting season, which is expected to see an expansion in planted corn and soybean acres.
  • Adverse weather remains an elevated risk factor with forecasts this spring for above-average precipitation on top of already saturated soils. Agronomy sales and service could take a hit if weather once again leads to high levels of prevented planting.
  • COVID-19’s global spread may continue to impact supply chains and the availability of certain, necessary imported crop inputs, while also potentially affecting commodity prices and farmers’ planting decisions.

Learn more about the agronomy outlook from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange.