WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Agribusiness leaders nationwide can
use results from a new Purdue University study to help them become more
successful by understanding their farmer customers better.
Commercial Producer Survey, conducted every five years by
the Center for Food and Agricultural
Business, explores the concerns, preferences, behaviors and
attitudes of U.S. farmers and ranchers. This year’s survey is based on results
from nearly 1,700 producers.
“Our goal is to help agricultural producers and
agribusinesses reach higher levels of success,” said Mike Gunderson, Purdue professor and
associate director of research at the center. “Armed with information and
insights about their farmer customers, agribusinesses can create new business
strategies based on what their customers value. That approach results in more
effective partnerships with key clients.”
Started in 1998, the survey focuses on corn/soybean,
wheat/barley, cotton, fruit/nut/vegetable, dairy, hog and cattle producers
across the U.S.
From this year’s survey, Gunderson led the center’s research
team in condensing more than 400,000 data points into four categories — producer
strategy, loyalty, buying preferences, and information and the salesman.
Gunderson said the team, consisting of Purdue agricultural
economists, included questions about “how producers think about the strategies
that make them successful, what amount of time it takes to implement those
strategies, and what worries them at night.”
Farmers answered questions about five strategies: managing
production, managing people, controlling costs, spending time marketing their
output, and controlling land, equipment and facilities.
“We found it interesting that what farmers think makes them
successful and what they actually spend their time focusing on are not always
the same,” Gunderson said.
The team also studied farmer loyalty across different
products — seed, crop protection, feed and nutrition, animal health, fertilizer
and capital — at the brand and local dealer/retailer level. They used the same
products to evaluate buying preferences based on three attributes: price,
performance and relationship.
The role of information and salesmen has long been included
in the annual survey. This version reflected changes in Internet-based
technologies, including the addition of questions about social media, email and
The team looked at how the importance of different media,
information sources, salesperson activities and salesperson attributes affected
producers’ decision making.
Results from the survey are now available at www.agecon.purdue.edu/cab/lcpproducts. There is a charge, structured in two levels of detail.