There is an onslaught of growth enhancement products on the market today that would make any product manager’s head explode. Profitability should be top of the list when considering the right growth enhancement product. Your first question should be, “Does this product bring a strong return on investment (ROI) to my business and my growers?”
Yield performance may take several years of testing and product evaluation, but it is the first and most important step. After identifying the products with the best potential, you may need to consider the other criteria below to help make your final decision.
- Ease of application and slurry rate. Let’s take soybeans as an example. The industry standard for soybeans is typically 4 to 6 ounces, maybe 7 ounces per hundredweight (cwt.). If a product has a high application rate, there will not be much room left for other products. Pushing the application rate to 10 or 12 ounces makes for very wet seed and could cause seed to clump and bridge which can cause flowability problems in your seed plant and plantability problems for the grower. Adding a dryer or a dry powder applicator may be a necessary expense that needs to be calculated into the seed treatment’s price if you want your growers to have a good experience.
- Is it compatible with other seed treatments?
- Is it supplied in package sizes suitable for your seed plant operations?
- Will the product be available when you need it? Some of the growth promotors on the market are hard to produce which would require better forecasting and inventory control.
- How will you go to market? Keep your message simple but compelling.
- Pricing. Some seed companies put together one standard seed treatment package and price seed treatment and seed together as one. Others use an à la carte good-better-best price structure to offer more options and then bolt on the additional products. Don’t complicate the offer. Seed treatments are meant to enhance the seed’s genetics, and bring added value not complicate your customers’ purchasing decisions.
There are a lot of products on the market. Do your due diligence and identify the products that hold the most promise for you and your customers.