Retailers: Respond With Data And Creativity

The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.

The seed industry landscape is changing dramatically. For retailers, AgPro assembled usable insights into the key trends of the seed industry with our annual Seed Guide.

One such example comes from the annual survey our parent publication Farm Journal conducts, where they asked almost 800 farmers about their seed choices in 2018. You’ll find the results shared throughout the AgPro September issue in addition to other key research about the seed business.

Here, I want to dive a bit deeper into one particular question. When asked if they were trying a new seed brand in 2018, 80% of farmers said no, and 20% said yes. The three top responses for why that 20% was trying something new were:

  • Wanted to do business with someone else
  • Bought cheaper seed, which meant switching
  • Last year’s brand yielded poorly

If a customer gave you any of the three above reasons for changing business, then do you have a response?


Recently, when I’ve been challenged with a question, I’ve tried to intentionally shift my reaction. Rather than coming from a defensive position, I inform my response with creativity. For example, instead of providing a list of excuses to answer why a particular idea didn’t perform up to expectations, I’ve been taking a step back—and perhaps a deep breath—and answering with some additional ideas informed by data or research that share what I want to try next.

We have more insights to share than we could fit in these pages, so you’ll find many links for more information or interactive graphics online. The goal for this annual Seed Guide is to provide creative and informed ways to improve your seed business in 2019.