How Do Purchase Programs Change Seed Decisions?

“Seed buying programs are getting more complex, there’s no doubt about it,” says Conrad Smith. “And taking product performance out of consideration—I want to know what parts of these programs are influencing seed decisions.” ( Sonja Begemann )

Independent ag retailer Conrad Smith had a question—and he took to Twitter to find some answers.

“Seed buying programs are getting more complex, there’s no doubt about it,” he says. “And taking product performance out of consideration—I want to know what parts of these programs are influencing seed decisions.”

Smith says seed sales total about 35% of his business, and it’s getting more challenging to keep up with all the details included in the purchase programs.

He posted the poll on Sept. 30, and slightly more than 700 respondents choose from four factors: financing terms, early pay dates, chemical rebate tie-ins, and equipment programs.

By Oct. 1 he had the results:

Financial aspects of these programs earned 84% of the votes (adding together responses of "Early pay dates" and "Financing terms".)

“I have seen more and more farmers financing seed every year,” Smith says. “So while I’m not totally surprised by what folks responded to in this poll, it’s interesting.”

Smith said he intentionally didn’t offer “performance” as a choice since it’s assumed that will drive a majority of the seed purchase decisions. 

According to two years of Farm Journal research, here are some insights into timing of farmers' seed purchases:

Seed Purchase Timing

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