Updated: Ag Chemical Price Transparency Report

Do You Pay More for Your Ag Chemicals Than Your Neighbors? 

This report outlines the pricing variations observed on some common ag chemicals. 

Farmers confront numerous challenges as they strive for profitability, including the lack of transparency in the chemical market, which can add extra costs to an already expensive farming essential.

In fact, herbicides and insecticides can account for as much as 15 percent of a farmer’s variable cost of production.1 As farmers fight for margin, every dollar matters. Small price variations can add up to have a big impact.

When FBN first published the Ag Chemical Price Transparency report in 2015, we learned that farmers had little transparency into hidden industry practices around chemical pricing.

This meant that there was wide variability between the prices farmers paid for their chemicals. Now, three years later, price variation continues in the industry. We remain committed to greater transparency for farmers.

Farmers continue to see extreme price differences on the same products, even when brands and geographies are the same. 

In fact, we saw 89 products with a greater than 100 percent difference between the lowest and highest price.2

Farmers paid up to 264% more for the same product in 2018.

Based on thousands of reported prices for common ag chemicals, prices were down from 2016-2017, but price variation continued from 2017-2018.

When prices are transparent and farmers see how prices can vary across regions, farmers are empowered to have control over their chemical purchasing and make better decisions about where to find fair prices.

We believe that farmers should have access to open, competitive markets—increasing price transparency is a critical step in achieving that goal.

1. Iowa State University: Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa - 2016 
2. FBN analysis based on approximately 14,000 self-reported pricing data points from FBN members.


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