Assessing Opportunities, Challenges, and the Future Role of the U.S. Crop Input Dealer

Distribution channels for crop production chemicals, fertilizers and seed are involved in a significant transition. Though the two endpoints of the channel remain the manufacturer and grower, many more options are evolving for transferring products, services, and information through the channel. Traditionally, the retail dealer was the pivot point in moving products, services, and information through the channel but as changes have occurred in the industry, and with technology, that role is evolving. Some of the factors driving change in the distribution channel for crop inputs include: • Competition, as new intermediaries enter the marketplace (consultants, brokers, wholesalers, large growers); • Consolidation, at all levels of the distribution channel; • Biotechnology, resulting in reduced demand and tighter margins for some crop protection chemicals; • Information technology, increased use of information technology with the potential to bypass many of those in the traditional channel, moving information directly from the manufacturer to the end-user and vice versa. Given this changing business environment, the purpose of this study was to identify threats and opportunities that crop input dealers perceive will impact their business in the future. It also provides insight into how dealers see their roles evolving over time, both their roles with growers and their roles with manufacturers.

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Staff Paper 05-01

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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