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Precision Agriculture in the United States: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution

Precision agriculture in the United States has made great advancement during the past decade – both in terms of the types of offerings, from site-specific to guidance technologies, to the adoption of various systems offered by firms and used by growers. Precision agriculture is rapidly advancing and will likely continue to expand as more growers see value in the developing technologies and resulting efficiencies.

Major consolidation across the retail and wholesale industries, and trends in solutions management for the grower will continue to provide enormous complexity throughout the entire agricultural market. These interactions will enable the distribution channel to identify solutions that fit their individual business model and provide a higher return on their invested capital. Retailers, agencies, and farmer dealers will continue to be the touch point for the grower. As a result, the industry’s fertilizer, seed and crop protection segments may change dramatically.


Retailers now have a robust information resource available to help them assess precision agriculture’s role in their ability to compete effectively and profitably into the future. The Context Network study, Precision Agriculture in the United States: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution profiles the precision agriculture space including current and future trends, the impact on the distribution channel and fertilizer providers in the U.S.

Gross Profit Seed and Crop Retailers Chart

This important strategic tool provides subscribers with acute understanding of critical trends and consequences in this evolving market segment. It will allow firms to better anticipate both challenges and opportunities presented now and in the future. Exploration of this deep analysis can fortify firms’ abilities to target their efforts and compete more effectively in the market space.


Precision Agriculture in the United States: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution evaluates historical trends and issues influencing major drivers in precision adoption. In addition, the study assesses new systems in place that may change the potential adoption and ultimate impact on the industry. As growers adopt at differing levels depending on their need, sophistication and overall focus on return on investment, a “floor” for adoption is created, and each segment of the industry must be poised to act accordingly. This study explores important considerations for each market segment.

Precision Agriculture Challenges to and

Requirements of the Industry Segments

Retailers, Fertilizer, Seed, and Crop Protection

Study Components: Perspective on Precision

Precision Agriculture in the United States: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution provides subscribers with a comprehensive evaluation of precision agriculture. The study gathers data from internal Context Network analysis, literature sources, 200 grower interviews from major corn and soybean belt states and 65 in-person interviews with industry experts.  These experts include precision agriculture experts, existing retail employees, former retail employees, distribution experts, and numerous agricultural industry experts. Context will evaluate all experts’ findings along with broader industry feedback to ensure accuracy. Study components include the following:

History and Current State of Precision Agriculture

This section closely follows the current and future trends of precision agriculture and the impact on distribution including:

  • The history of precision agriculture and the major trends in the industry
  • The current state of precision agriculture, outlining:
    • Major technology
    • Major manufacturers
    • Adoption and implementation by growers
    • Recent trends

Future Trends

This section looks at the future trends and will explore precision agriculture questions including:

  • What are the likely technologies that will emerge?
  • Who are the likely beneficiaries of innovations?
  • What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to each major trend?

Impact of Precision Agriculture on the Distribution Channel

Closely following current and future trends in precision agriculture, this section assesses the impacts on distribution including:

  • The direct impact of precision agriculture on the retail sector
  • The impact on seed distribution, both at and through retail, agencies, and farmer dealers
  • The impact of precision agriculture on plant health and the distribution channel

Impact of Precision Agriculture on Fertilizer

Key issues and impacts on fertilizer use and distribution are explored in this section.

  • Will fertilizer distribution need to change to ensure the success of precision agriculture?
  • What are the likely benefits of precision agriculture to fertilizer use?

What will happen to total fertilizer usage?SWOT analysisAccuracy is additive, precision is addictive.

Precision Agriculture Impacts Your Business

Precision Agriculture in the U.S.: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution examines the major trends in the industry and how these trends will impact companies across the value chain.

The study allows most retailers and distributors to enhance their knowledge of the current and future retail market impacts, along with their current and, possibly, future competitors. In addition, seed, trait and seed treatment companies will find the information in this study helpful in their future strategic planning.

Fertilizer manufacturers and distributors will find insight into the strategic direction of precision and how their products may be placed in the future. In addition, grain marketers and handlers will derive a better understanding of the impact of these trends on those companies that may be in a position to capitalize on a complete offering to the grower.

Identification of Game-Changing Trends

Precision Agriculture in the U.S.: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution points out paramount shifts emerging in the precision agriculture realm and gives seed companies, retailers, software companies, equipment manufacturers and precision agriculture hardware firms alike, the chance to innovate current systems.  In such a nascent market, formal and informal relationships have and will continue to form between conventional and non-conventional partners.  Such diverse relationships indicate that few definite industry standards or rules exist which allows for aggressive competition to offer and package the best products in the marketplace.  Premier technologies which gain vast user favor and public acceptance can quickly change the outlook of a firm.  With nearly 20 companies involved in proprietary precision agriculture, Context evaluates the potential for possible industry consolidation or “roll-ups”.  The report gives subscribers specific points along the value chain, by participant type, for value added opportunities.  In order to take stock of the current precision agriculture market, Context characterizes major and emerging players and identifies unique positions of each of these players allowing for subscribers to brainstorm about possible partnerships and acquisitions.

“Big data” is the newest buzz phrase when discussing how to harness the value of having massive amounts of information to analyze and interpret, especially when its manipulation, in Context’s opinion, may make or break companies.  Leveraging insight from 200 farmer interviews across the major grain producing states in the U.S., Context provides perspective on what growers of over 800 acres of corn or soybeans believe to be the most important aspects of a data management system.  This input is valuable to a precision agriculture company anywhere along the maturity spectrum, whether in its first or fifteenth year of providing precision services to growers.  Specific detail is provided on the tools and system characteristics desired by growers, data origination and transfer considerations and future thoughts on capability.  All of which will be important when developing a precision agriculture data system.

Customized Seed and Crop Advice

A new and important market factor such as “big data” also brings with it a new set of rules and inherent obstacles for some; Context brings these barriers to the forefront and discusses industry-wide implications.  Crucial to success will be a company’s ability to synthesize and interpret several levels of agronomic data.

Precision Agriculture in the U.S.: Current and Future Trends and Impacts on Distribution spells out specific changes that agricultural retailers, seed companies and growers should consider making in the near term to remain competitive.  The study reveals how many of the leading stakeholders in precision agriculture have already taken steps to innovate.  Certainly, the given capabilities of entities to transform data into user friendly bits of valuable and actionable information is a function of how successful a company will become.  However, ancillary and obligatory responsibilities have emerged, forcing agricultural data onto the public stage. Product traceability is a concept desired by consumers and until now has been considered undeliverable by food producers, processors, marketers and farmers alike.  However, as precision agriculture systems become increasingly accurate with application rates and are able to track a kernel from germination to harvest by virtue of these novel technologies, more transparency will be demanded.

Industry Expert Quote

(Source – http://www.contextnet.com/precision-agriculture-in-the-us-current-and-future-trends-and-impacts-on-distribution.cfm)

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