Most Commercial corn and soybean growers probably think their spouses are the big shoppers in the family. But in reality, the big shopper is you. Farm inputs reach well into the six figures for most readers of this magazine. And because of your shopping power, many retailers and companies want to know everything they can about how you decide to buy.

Purdue University's Center for Food and Agricultural Business addresses that retailer interest by conducting a survey of buying habits among large commercial growers. The center conducts the survey every five years and completed the latest one last year. The results were revealed at a conference held recently at the university. Here are a few nuggets:

  • Many commercial growers have backed away from buying “direct” and instead prefer to buy from local retailers. More than half of the growers surveyed said they are willing to pay slightly more for inputs from local suppliers.

  • When buying crop protection products, growers buy more often based on price and convenience than on brand.

  • When buying seed, growers give equal weight to several factors, such as convenience/location, customer service, price and performance.

  • Equipment purchase decisions vary by size of operation. The larger the producer's operation, the more likely he will be to base his decision on equipment performance. Growers with mid-size farms lean towards service.

  • And last, producers find farm magazines to be the most useful source of information, even more useful than their local dealers. Of course, we at Farm Industry News like to hear that.