Shaping the future of animal health

Success, sustainability and the bigger picture

The downward price pressures that generic products bring to the market might look great for farmers in the short-term, but they may well prove to be counterproductive in the industry over the long-term, according to agronomist Neil Durning.

Neil is a Field Services Manager with AGnVET Services, an independent agribusiness with a large group of specialist advisors in agronomy and animal health. He splits his time between advising clients through his company’s proactive Betta Crop service, and working with the agronomists on his team on training and development. He always recommends the right product for the job even if that means branded products cost more than generic competitors.

“Branded product manufacturers support good agronomy services in small locations. A good advisor will drive profitability by looking at the whole farm big picture and providing proactive in-paddock advice to clients to achieve the goals of the business.”

Neil urges his clients to think about farm profit, and not being driven solely by product price.

“It’s not about saving five dollars a drum. It’s about making $1,000 a hectare,” he says.

“When our clients can see that they get good results and solid profits using the branded products we recommend, the price consciousness tends not to be the major driver in product choice.”

In Neil’s experience, the agronomy support offered by generic manufacturers is very limited, which means farmers don’t always get good guidance. “If you’re not getting good advice you can end up putting the wrong product in the wrong place. Some growers also use much more product than they need because it is cheap and end up spending the same amount per hectare.”

Neil says supporting branded products is also vital because of the role they play in supporting future development.

“We’re in an era where resistance is becoming the major issue in agriculture. New product development is vital to managing resistance as old products are rendered ineffective but generic companies generally don’t release new products. They don’t ever come out with anything new and rarely offer new technology. Choosing branded products supports the companies that work on new developments the industry needs.