The most productive grower and retailer relationships are truly a partnership where both depend on each other to achieve success.
Retailers provide growers with their expertise and counsel regarding seed, fertility and crop protection solutions that will help them achieve their yield and profitability goals. They also may provide application and other agronomic services to help the grower produce the highest yield possible.
In turn, the growers can help their local retailers by purchasing the recommended inputs and services from the retailer, which helps the retailer reach their sales goals and maintain the experienced staff that helps their business succeed. The beauty of it all is that the grower and retailer experience goes full circle each season, allowing them both to leverage their strengths and work to improve their vulnerabilities.
For growers, taking chances by cutting back on genetics, fertility and crop protection or starting new or unproven solutions without the proper advice from an expert is not typically the smarter route. Instead, growers should use products and farm management practices that will work best throughout their operation.
With a good retailer as their advocate, they are able to learn about new products and services that will enhance what they are currently doing to improve their crop production and overall financial situation.
Throughout this process, growers need to remember that their basic plan should always include genetics, crop fertility and crop protection.
- Proper genetics help maximize the yield potential and give your crop the best chance for the highest yield potential.
- Crop fertility is also a very important part of the equation. Proper nutrients should be available to the seed from the beginning and should continue to be available when and where the plant needs it, throughout its life for the best possible production and yield.
- Crop protection solutions are vital to protecting the seed and the resulting plant by defending against pest, weed and disease pressure. This protection can best be accomplished by using the appropriate herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, along with the most suitable adjuvants to maximize their effectiveness.
For retailers, it’s important to be a mentor as well as a provider. It’s vital to provide recommendations for products and services that directly fit within the grower’s crop production plan and that will translate into increased yield for the grower. Building this trusted relationship, is one way ag retailers can best work with their farmer customers.
The following video clip from our LIFT Summit includes Dr. Fred Below with the University of Illinois providing overall advice to growers and ag retailers.
What Advice do you have for growers?
I would tell [growers] to keep the basics, do the things on your farm that you know will work. Don’t cut back and don’t go off and try wild new things that aren’t proven. Stick with the basics, things like fertility, genetics, protection, weed control. These are not things to skimp on.
What advice do you have for agricultural retailers?
I would tell retailers to remind farmers that they [the retailers] are delivering the inputs that they [the growers] need for yield.
Farmers need to produce yield to be to sell it. Everyone has to have a piece of the pie. The grower has to have the bushels. If they don’t have the bushels they can’t pay for the products.
Everyone has to sort of share it [the pie]. Retailers need to show growers that what they [the retailers] are providing brings them [the growers] value.