One-On-One With Nutrien CEO

$4 Billion To Be Invested in Ag Retail

 by Margy Eckelkamp November 29, 2018 12:29 PM

  Nutrien CEO Chuck Magro gave an industry and company update at the 2018 Ag Retailers Association conference on Nov. 28. ( Nutrien ) It’s been almost a year since the official formation of Nutrien (which happened on Jan. 1, 2018 as Potash Corp and Agrium merged).

Nutrien CEO Chuck Magro discussed three challenges in the industry today, three changes that are coming, and the two things Nutrien is doing to prepare for the future.

 “The U.S. ag retail industry is the gold standard around the world,” he says. “And there’s a reason for that. I was in China two weeks ago, and they said they want to duplicate what we have in the U.S. I’ve heard the same in India and Brazil. They see the value the U.S. ag retail industry brings to the farm. Over the past 50 years, this business has proven to be low-cost and value-enhancing to farmers.” He says in the next five years the company will invest $4 billion in its retail business. This includes retail footprint investments in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Brazil. It also includes their investments in the Integrated Digital Platform, which was first introduced in July. According to Magro, the three challenges facing the industry are:

U.S. farm economics: “I worry about the health of the U.S. farmer. Lenders are pulling back at exactly the wrong time when farmers need it,” he says. “At Nutrien, we’ve increased our ag lending to $2.5 billion—trying to do our part to support our customers.” Trade wars: “We know this has impacted soybean prices, and some experts say by $2/bu. or $100/acre,” Magro says. “And there’s a second concern brewing—30% of all active ingredients for herbicides, insecticides and fungicides come from China. So all of us—agribusiness, retailers, and growers—will bear the increased cost if the 25% tariffs go into effect in January. That could be $3 to $5 an acre.” Regulation: “There are many initiatives that are classifying fertilizers not as crop nutrition products but as pollutants,” Magro says. “It’s up to us in the U.S. to lead with how we proactively address potential regulations. And we have to be rooted in the 4Rs.” The three changes Magro sees coming to the industry are:

Improving fundamentals: “The corn stocks/use ratio is a barometer or indicator of what’s to come. We’ve never produced more food than we have in the past three years, and inventories are coming down,” he says. “People are consuming our food commodities, and while the trade war will cause uncertainty, we will get through it.”

Accelerating consolidation. “Consolidation is not new as the industry has always been consolidating, but the pace, size and scale has changed,” he says. “And more consolidation needs to happen as our customers are consolidating.” He says consolidation and concentration in the market may look very different across their business portfolio. He cites the company’s retail footprint in the U.S. having 20% market share today. As the No. 1 potash producer in the world, the company accounts for 20% of the market. And as the No. 3 nitrogen producer, the company produces 3% of the total global supply.
Technology: “With ag technology, billions are being poured into our industry,” Magro says. “The giants have woken up, and now Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM all have strategies involving agriculture.”

 Magro says with those challenges and changes, Nutrien has decided to not sit still. He references the $4 billion that will be re-invested in the ag retail channel (that sum is part of the $6 – 8 billion expected to be raised after the final sales of properties as part of the company’s regulatory agreement at the time of the merger and from base operations). “These investments will help move our retail business from just an inputs business—buying and selling inputs and services—to be an outcome company not just about improving yields for farmers but also profitability,” Magro says. The company’s investments in technology will help pave this path. Every year, the company intends to spend $100 million on development, with a focus on its Integrated Digital Platform. In the first quarter of 2019, the company will launch e-commerce for limited products on the Integrated Digital Platform. “After five months of launching our new platform, we have 40% of all North American revenue signed up and conducting transactional business with us,” he says. “And we feel compelled to enter the e-commerce space. We want to be seamless to do business with—on the phone, in person, or online.” Also related to technology, Magro says while Agrible had an impressive e-commerce platform, they were most appealing to Nutrien as an acquisition because of their sustainability platform. He says providing this kind of traceability and transparency will be an important value to farmers moving forward.

Upcoming Credit Hour Meetings

OACFA Safety  Stewardship Meetings for 2018

Earn nine Oregon Credit Hours
Washington, California, and Idaho credits available also

OACFA Safety & Stewardship Seminars  Springfield Location

Nov. 7, 2018 – Springfield, OR – Holiday Inn/Springfield-Eugene

OACFA Safety & Stewardship Seminars  Wilsonville Location

Nov. 8, 2018 – Wilsonville, OR – Holiday Inn Portland South 

Postmarked or received Before Oct. 25 $130 per person
After Oct. 25 $155 per person

Complete the online registration form or print and Fax to 503-585-1921

Each attendee will receive a confirmation postcard by mail. The postcard will be sent to the address on the registration form. For groups, please specify the correct address to allow employees to collect their confirmation cards. 

After Oct. 25 confirmation slips will be sent via e-mail.

Walk-in registrations will be accepted on space available basis. Late registrants are asked to contact OACFA regarding available seating.


Seminars begin promptly at 8:00 am. Check in begins at 7:15 am. Program runs until 5:00 pm. Lunch and refreshments are provided on site.

Please remember you must be on site by 8:00 am to assure you receive full credit for re-licensing. Signatures are required for attendance in the morning and afternoon.

Oregon Seed Growers League 2018

Oregon Seed League Meeting Agenda

Becoming Nutrien Ag Solutions

For those of you that have heard, we have a new beginning upon us as we move from Crop Production Services to Nutrien Ag Solutions. If you do not know the story, here is a little background for you. 
Nutrien Ag Solutions was established in 2018, but predecessor companies began operating as early as 1859. A lot has changed since then. Advancements in technology allow for more effective growing methods while minimizing environmental impacts. We've welcomed more operations into our family and expanded our product and service offerings. Our reach has become global as we are now part of a network of retailers that spans three continents. Despite all those changes, we have never lost sight of the American farmers and the work they do. Decade after decade, we're here to provide the best technologies, tools and products so you can focus on what you do best - grow.
Operated by Nutrien Retail, Nutrien Ag Solutions is a unit of Nutrien Ltd., the world’s largest agriculture inputs company. Nutrien is comprised of four business units: Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash and Retail.
Nutrien Retail continues to grow its international and North American presence. In the past five years, approximately 250 independent retailers have been added to the growing family of Nutrien Ag Solutions.
With that being said, no one knows your land, or operation quite like you. But that will never keep us from nurturing the relationships you’ve grown to value with us as Crop Production Services. And now with even broader resources and capabilities, your Tangent Nutrien Ag Solutions™ retailer is even more equipped to help you become a more capable grower than ever and we are excited and proud to be doing it with you.
You will being seeing the new name show up as you visit the office or see one of our vehicles on the road and we hope that you enjoy and take full advantage of the benefits that come along with this change. As always, feel free to contact your fieldman with questions or concerns. 
-Your team at Nutrien Ag Solutions

Everyday Champion - Sondra Putman  (Sonie)

A valued team member, employee and friend for 40 plus years, Sonie is one of the most loyal people you will meet.  Sonie is set to retire in April 2018 after many years of outstanding service.  Previous to CPS, Sonie worked for Smoke Craft, Continental Processors, and Albany Frozen Foods.  Sonie originally started with legacy Cascade Farm Service/Western Farm Service/CPS in January of 1976.  She took time off to start a family with her husband Gary for a couple of years but was right back at it at Western Farm Service  in March of 1987.  She and her current boyfriend Gary have been married almost 41 years and live in Albany where she has lived her entire life.  Their two daughters Jaime and Kori live close by which suits Sonie well being able to be involved in the lives of her beautiful granddaughters.  You can easily tell that Sonie's favorite book is the Bible, she enjoys the music of Mercy Me and she is a very talented quilter, scrap booker and remodeler.  Her favorite movies include Momma Mia, Steel Magnolias, and Fried Green Tomatoes,  and of course her grand daughers think she likes whatever they want to watch.  Her favorite quote: "Be careful with words because once said, they can only be forgiven not forgotten."  Sonie says the favorite part of her job is the relationships she has made with the people she has worked with over the past forty years.  "I have been blessed!"
Crop Production Services, It's employees, and customers have been blessed to have Sonie! 

 At CPS and in life, Sonie is an Everyday Champion!

Everyday Champion - Matt Kiesel

Fast and efficient and customer focused only partially describes CPS fertilizer plant manager Matt Kiesel.  A man of many talents, Matt has been a valued CPS Team member for about five years.  The father of three, Noah, Orion and Ellie, Matt and his wife Brittaney live in Albany.  Matt directs a crew in the CPS fertilizer plant that is both proficient and focused on making our customers successful.  Matt has spent most of his life in the Willamette Valley in Albany and Lebanon and has also lived and worked in La Pine, Oregon.  Besides the many hours he spends at CPS, he enjoys time with his wife and kids, hunting, woodworking, and riding his motorcycle.  Country music is his favorite as are classic war movies like Saving Private Ryan.  Night by Elie Wiesel is one of his favorite books.  A great person, employee and team member make Matt a great person to work with.  He says that the best part of his job is all the friendships that he has made with his coworkers and the ability to provide his customers with everything they need. 

  At CPS and in life, Matt is an Everyday Champion!

Everyday Champions

Everyday Champion - Patricia Borland
January 2018

You can call her Pat, Patty, Patricia, or even Sunshine and she probably won't mind.  CPS is fortunate to have Patricia Borland on our team.  Customer service is her middle name.  Patty has been with the team at Crop Production Services for 13 1/2 years.  She and her husband RC, a project manager/supervisor with Anderson Construction have been married for 41 years.  They have two sons, a daughter, three grandsons, and a granddaughter on her way from China.  Patty and RC live east of Lebanon.  Her top skill is being a servant.  When not working, she enjoys history, old time western music, can you sing a little "Crazy" Patsy Cline?  And Honky Tonk.  She also enjoys quilting and has brought some very well made and designed quilts to work to share.  In the outdoors she enjoys yard work and showing Paint horses for her daughter and son in law.  Besides CPS, she has worked as a teachers aide, school secretary, janitor, bus driver and bus superintendent.  Favorite movie(s): most westerns.  Likes her spicy foods best.  One favorite thing for Patty would be to be stuck in the mountains, snowed in at a cabin with her family and her sewing machine. 
Patty says the best part of her job is being able to meet the customers needs by getting their orders to them in a timely manner and helping them in any way possible.

  At CPS and in life, Patty is an Everyday Champion!