b'S T R A T E G Y A featured segment designed to help you in the realm of retail seed sales. Digital Agriculture is Helping Mitigatethe Effects of Extreme WeatherFrom drones to other technologies that enable us to see things in the field that weve never been able to see before, digital advancements are helping our industry cope with climate change.Marc ZienkiewiczOVER THE PASTthreefalls exceeded gross profit years, the global economicmargins became far more landscape has been markedcommon during this period. by unprecedented levels ofThis volatility affects not only disruption. When it comesretailers but also the entire to risk mitigation strategies,value chain, posing challenges its crucial to understand thefor independent growers like scale of these disruptions.Greg Stamp, who grows and What was once a rela- sells seed near Enchant, Alta.tively stable environmentMarket swings dictate suddenly shifted dramaticallyour planting decisions, but around August 2020, extend- anticipating these fluctuations ing through 2023, says Samis like reading tea leaves. One Taylor, farm inputs analyst foryear, a particular variety may Rabobank based in New York.sit in our bins for an extended Fertilizer prices surgedperiod, while the next, it threefold, commodity pricesbecomes the top choice ofGreg Stamp, seed salesSam Taylor, Farm Inputs doubled and glyphosatefarmers, Stamp says. manager, Stamp Seeds Analyst, Rabobankprices tripled.In navigating these uncer-This upheaval wasnttain times, access to timelyperiods of peak and troughdynamics, Taylor says. While caused by a single factor;and accurate informationoccurring roughly every 18some relief may be on the rather, it stemmed from a mul- becomes paramount. Factorsmonths, Taylor says. However,horizon in the second half of titude of events, including thesuch as energy pricing, politi- recent events have deviatedthe year, the immediate future Texas power crisis, COVID- cal developments, and farmfrom this norm, driven largelyremains uncertain.related disruptions, fluctuatingincome trends play crucialby global political dynamicsDespite challenges, the natural gas and coal pricesroles in shaping marketand farm income trends. ForCanadian market has fared and environmental concerns.dynamics.instance, Chinas decision torelatively well in terms of These factors, com- Understanding these fac- limit fertilizer exports due tofertilizer imports. However, pounded by sanctions andtors is essential for devisingdomestic affordability con- the broader global dynamics conflicts, created a volatileeffective risk mitigation strate- cerns has contributed to thenecessitate a comprehensive market driven by what seemsgies. This is relevant for seedcurrent unaffordability in theunderstanding of the intercon-like a continuous stream ofgrowers and retailers in thatphosphate market. nectedness of markets and unforeseen events, Taylornot only do they use many ofLooking ahead, thethe importance of staying goes on to say. the inputs affected by eco- geopolitical landscape willinformed to effectively navi-Analyzing the month-over- nomic forces, but their farmercontinue to influence fertilizergate these turbulent times.month price changes in ureacustomers do, too. prices, with factors like Chinas further highlights the extent ofExamining the affordabilityexport policies and MoroccosThe Cost Factorthis volatility. Previously infre- index of fertilizers reveals amarket strategies shapingFurthermore, retailers need to quent, instances where pricecyclicality to the volatility, withglobal supply and demandadopt a judicious approach to 72/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024'