Current Adoption of E-Commerce for Crop Inputs

Margy Eckelkamp
Margy Eckelkamp
(Farm Journal Media)

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

It’s easy for any of us to have an emotional reaction to change. Or to let one anecdote frame our perception of a trend. A terrific example is e-commerce. During the past year and a half, a lot of talk has focused on e-commerce and how it represents a threat to traditional ag retail.

Consolidation, technology, farmer demographics and more are influencing the present and future of ag retail.

To fill in the lines and give an accurate picture of how farmers are using e-commerce options today, Farm Journal conducted a detailed research effort. Of the respondents to the Farm Journal survey, 13% plan to buy some of their crop inputs online in 2019. USDA’s Farm Computer Usage and Ownership survey in 2017 reported 23% of farmers bought any type of farm input (generally categorized) online. That makes sense as online outlets for machinery parts, smaller components and hardware have gained more traction in the digital age than the complex distribution and storage of seed, fertilizer and crop chemistries.

Chip Flory and I discussed these trends on AgriTalk radio recently:

E-commerce isn’t the only change affecting retail. Farmers are using technology in general to transact differently with their suppliers. Just think about how many customers you text today compared with even five years ago. All facets surrounding sales and customer relationships are changing.

With an online poll this fall, AgPro asked its audience, “For your business, do you feel farmers are more loyal than 10 years ago?” Out of 76 respondents, 93% said no.

What are you doing to be in that 7% making customers more loyal?


Latest News

Ferrie: Ready, Set, Whoops! A Fast Start To Fieldwork Could Cost You Big In Corn At V5

Caution can help you avoid creating compaction or density layers. Plus, if you're applying anhydrous now, allowing 14 days between the application and planting can prevent dead or damaged plants and costly yield dings.

Nebraska Farmland Values Jump 14% in 2023 — Up 30% in Two Years

This year marks the second-largest increase in the market value of agricultural land in Nebraska since 2014 and the highest non-inflation-adjusted statewide land value in the 45-year history of the survey. 

U.S. Milk Production and Cow Numbers Both Rise

The February 2023 USDA Milk Production report showed an 0.8% increase in year-over-year milk production with a total of 17.7 billion lbs. of milk. Also following suit, U.S. cow numbers also documented growth.

Crude Oil Prices Drop Below $70: What is the Outlook for Consumers at the Pump and Farmers Heading Into Spring Planting?

Oil prices are also off their highs of last year and gas and diesel prices are also sliding at the pump, but will that trend continue ahead of planting?   Energy experts are hoping the answer is yes.  

Can History Making $20 Billion in Inflation Reduction Act Get Rolled Out Quickly Enough?

Industry experts say the new legislative package represents a 'generational opportunity' for conservation funding and needs to reach U.S. farmers and livestock producers sooner rather than later, starting this spring.

WOTUS Rule Frozen in Two States, But Unimpaired in 48

A federal judge in Texas put WOTUS on hold in two states over the weekend but denied a concentrated effort by industry groups to stop the rule nationwide.