Ag Retailers on Solid Ground During Pandemic

A recent CoBank report says agricultural retailers look to be in good shape as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The report said Ag retailers are on “relatively firm footing” as they prepare for spring after last year’s complicated agronomy season.

CoBank’s proprietary borrower database says farmer prepayments, accounts receivables, and delinquency trends reported by CoBank farm supply cooperative customers remain in line with 2018, which could indicate a stable-to-improved outlook for agronomy sales and services. Ag retailers’ inventories of seeds, agrochemicals, and fertilizer should meet customer needs during the 2020 planting season, which is expected to see an increase in the number of planted acres for both corn and soybeans.

Adverse weather, and more specifically flooding, remain elevated risk factors this season, with forecasts for above-average precipitation this spring over areas that contain already saturated soils. Agronomy sales and service could take a hit if the weather once again leads to high levels of prevented planting. The coronavirus spread may impact supply chains and the availability of certain imported crop inputs that retailers rely on in the short term.

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