Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Fertilizer Revenues Decline 7% for Top 100 Ag Retailers in 2020

Back during the 1970s, a singer in one classic song said he “could see clearly now the rain is gone.” But for the fertilizer category among CropLife 100 ag retailers, the vision of 2020 following the end of the 2019 rains still left an incredibly blurry image, marked by losses in multiple areas.
In many ways, market watchers probably shouldn’t be that surprised by this performance when eye-balling the fertilizer category. Indeed, following some very good growth years during the early years of the 2010s, the fertilizer category began to see some significant pullback from grower-customers towards the middle years of the decade. In fact, during the 2013 CropLife 100 survey report, the nation’s top ag retailers said that their fertilizer market share compared with other crop inputs/services categories fell 2%. This was followed up by another 4% market share loss during 2014 and a 1% market share drop in 2015.
Then came 2019. While all-season spring and early summer rains disrupted field work across huge portions of the U.S., many industry observers probably wondered during the year part of the year if fertilizer applications/sales would suffer. After all, prevent plant acres around the country totaled almost 19 million acres, with heavy fertilizer using states such as South Dakota, Ohio, and Illinois severely impacted in the process, each recording more than one million crop acres remaining unplanted. Given these facts, the year was setting up to be another cloudy one for the fertilizer category.
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