Mar 29, 2021

A Promising Planting Season

Strong fertilizer and farm input demand is a positive sign

By now, for most of the country, the snow has melted, the clocks have turned ahead and farmers are getting fields ready for planting. Spring has sprung!

In addition to looking forward to warmer temperatures and longer days, those in the ag retail space can also look forward to a profitable agronomy season this Spring.

CoBank predicted in March that an expected increase in planted acres of corn, soybeans and wheat would give farm supply co-ops and distributors a welcome opportunity to expand profit margins.

“Barring additional weather shocks, spring 2021 is setting up to be a very strong agronomy season for crop input distributors,” said Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg, lead grain and farm supply economist with CoBank.

“Improving profits for cooperative agronomy departments should help cushion the negative carry caused by an inversion in futures prices.”

Thanks to high grain prices and last year’s prevented planting acres coming back into circulation, farmers are looking to plant more than 10 million additional acres this year, resulting in more crop input usage during the spring 2021 planting season.

Now is the time to plan for storing and transporting extra fertilizer as producers are expected to purchase more fertilization products for the added acreage, specifically potassium and phosphorous, during the spring planting season.

What’s more is rising fertilizer prices are a good sign for new sales and retailer margins.

If you want to learn more about what’s in store this Spring from CoBank’s perspective, I recommend watching the video report Agronomy Outlook: A Time to Plant, a Time to Prosper by clicking here.

Cheers to a promising planting season and a happy Spring! ■

Elise Schafer

Recently Added to Buyer's Guide

Q-Sage Air Screen Cleaners

  • Separates grain by length and size to specifications
  • Numerous flow patterns available to accommodate each unique product and processing need

Vertical Blender

  • For reliable, gentle mixing of friable solids, abrasive materials and shear-sensitive products
  • For processing large volumes where floor space is limited


  • Industrial Ethernet Node offers remote monitoring interface
  • Provides sensor data to PLCs or other automation and control systems

GAC® 2700-UGMA

  • GIPSA-Certified as UGMA-Compatible
  • Field proven to work with all leading scale systems

PDDM Planetary Dual Disperser

  • Robust mixer offers unmatched shear intensity, rapid dispersion of dry powders into viscous batches
  • Two stainless-steel high-viscosity “HV” stirrer blades


  • Designed to sort grain lots, kernel by kernel, at industrial speed
  • Sorts up to 15 metric tons/hour, which is equivalent to about 125,000 kernels analyzed per second


Marketwatch: Aug, 11

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

open: 6.8847
high: 6.9913
low: 6.8549
close: 6.8638

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 14.8909
high: 15.0639
low: 14.5771
close: 14.7602

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

open: 8.1187
high: 8.318
low: 8.1187
close: 8.2669

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

open: 7.3976
high: 7.5571
low: 7.3901
close: 7.4745