New FBN Report: Drastically Different Prices for the Same Farm Chemicals

Sally Krueger

Dec 21, 2018

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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.As farmers fight for margin, every dollar matters. Small price variations can add up to have a big impact.


Farmers continue to see extreme price differences on the same products, even when brands and geographies are the same. When we say "the same product" or "the same chemical," we are referring to the same active ingredient with the same concentration. 

To provide clarity on national pricing information to our members, we have aggregated chemical invoices and price quotes for the 2018 crop year submitted anonymously by FBN


 members in the Updated Ag Chemical Price Transparency Report.

We received more than 14,000 unique pricing data points, representing 30 states and more than 250 insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and adjuvants. (The report outlines the pricing variations observed on some common ag chemicals. These prices do not include rebates.)


Even for staple products like Roundup PowerMAX®, we saw up to a 151 percent difference between the lowest and highest price paid within a single state. In Minnesota, there was a 151 percent difference between the lowest and highest price paid, while in Missouri there was a 134 percent difference between the lowest and highest price paid. In Kansas, the difference was just 16 percent.

For 2,4- D Low Volume 6, a product with one of the largest price variations, we saw a greater than a 203 percent difference between the lowest and highest price paid within a single state. In fact, we saw 89 products with a greater than 100 percent difference between the lowest and highest price.2

WhenFBN 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. 

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.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state/provincial law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix.

Sources: 1. Iowa State University: Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa - 2016 ( 2. FBN analysis based on approximately 14,000 unique pricing data from invoices and quotes submitted by FBN members during the 2018 crop year.

Aim EC herbicide and Authority First DF are registered trademarks of FMC Corporation. Cadet is a trademark of FMC Corporation. Callisto, Dual MAGNUM and Warrior II with Zeon Technology are registered trademarks of Syngenta Group Company. Choice Trio is a registered trademark of Loveland Products, Inc. Headline AMP, Priaxor D, Sharpen and Status herbicide are registered trademarks of BASF. Harness, Halex GT, Roundup® and PowerMAX® are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC, Bayer, or their respective owners. Corvus, Laudis herbicide and Stratego YLD are registered trademarks of Bayer. Impact is a registered trademark of AMVAC Chemical Corporation. Preference is a registered trademark of Winfield Solutions, LLC. FirstRate herbicide and Stinger herbicide are registered trademarks of DowAgroSciences, DowDupont, Corteva Agriscience or their respective owners.

Sally Krueger

Dec 21, 2018

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