Exclusive Interview with Lux Research: Digitization in the Agrichemical Sector

Presenting at AgChem Summit 2019, Joshua Haslun, Analyst - Agro Innovation Team of Lux Research, recently spoke with Smithers about digital transformation, the latest hot topics in the agrichemical sector, key takeaways from his presentation and what he is most excited to hear from fellow presenters in June. 

Smithers: As end users continually push for more cost-effective solutions, what do you think is the biggest concern regarding digital transformation in the agrichemical sector?

Joshua Haslun: The digital transformation itself is likely to reduce input costs as the methods that agrichemical companies employ to interact with end users evolve from personal distributor relationships to internet distributor web services.  Those that are late to recognize the change and adjust their business strategy will lose out.  


Smithers: What advice would you give someone that is just breaking into the agrichemical market?

Joshua Haslun: I would let them know that they need to increase their acumen regarding the integration of sensing technologies, big data, and product recommendation. Differentiation in this space will come from many angles but the common thread will be the integration of data from sensing services into product portfolios to personalize recommendations.


Smithers: What industry topics are getting the most attention at this time? How are these factors influencing the future of agriculture manufacturing / distribution supply chain?

Joshua Haslun: Attention to biopesticides and biofertilizers continues to grow, and with them the need for longer shelf life biologicals and improved efficacy biochemical biopesticides. Developers and manufacturers are establishing potential for near-site modular production facilities for biologicals, while the prevalence of adjuvants on the market is growing.


Smithers: Your presentation at this year’s AgChem Summit 2019 will cover E-Commerce business models. Why is it important for others in your industry to hear this message? What are some of the key take-aways?

Joshua Haslun: Digitization of the industry doesn’t only represent a challenge, but also an opportunity. By tuning in to my presentation, attendees will discover the range of possibilities that are emerging and can then use this framework to understand where your business has an opportunity for growth in the future as well as where and how you can expect competition.


Smithers: Which session topic are you most looking forward to hearing about at AgChem Summit 2019? 

Joshua Haslun: I was thrilled to see the inclusion of a discussion on “Progress toward globally harmonized regulations for plant biostimulants”. I am always interested to understand how regulations are impacting decisions from diverse perspectives.