Last week, I got a slap on the wrist from one retailer for including news of a chemical broker’s newest product. This week, it was a couple of high fives, but all three retailers point out that it’s in your hands to deal with growers who may have to deal with consequences of buying from brokers.
The first note came from Craig Edwards of Triangle Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.
“I certainly can identify with Andy Smith’s reaction to your glyphosate article. But neither do I think we can bury our head in the sand and ignore it. Your article was news, pertinent to our business, so that we can plan a strategy to counteract its effects on full service dealers. We operate in a capitalistic free market society.
“Unfortunately, it is up to us to point out to the customer why purchasing products from no-service companies is not in their best interest. Andy’s fieldman comment is right on.
“However, for far to long now, we dealers have acquiesed to the extortion threats customers use about future product purchases if we don’t something to remedy the present [product failure] situation. We have to tactfully but firmly inform them there is nothing our dealership can do to remediate a problem caused by another company’s product. But we can help them decide on a solution to salvage the circumstance.”
An anonymous retailer also responded to Smith’s letter, putting the burden even more firmly on retailers for keeping growers’ crop protection business.
“I do not agree. Outsiders keep our retailers honest. As of late one particular national retailer is getting far from being honest.
“Honesty and integrity in sales is what keeps retailers in business. To stay in business is to maintain the trust of the grower. To maintain the trust of the grower, you have to back up the product you sell. If a retailer is not doing so, buying a product from a chemical broker or on the internet is a no brainer. Cut out the middle man to get a product at lowest price.
“So those retailers out there looking for the quick sell and do not back up their products they sell, then these sorts of brokers will eat them alive. If they do back up their products and have the growers trust, then what is the worry?”
We’ll let these two have the last word on this topic — for now.
I also asked Edwards how his growers’ crop are doing, and his response was 50/50, not in favor of the corn and soybean fields.
“We didn’t get started planting until May 15th this year and a vast majority of the crop went in between May 20 and June 2. We are 250 to 300 growing degree units behind normal (it has been great people weather).
“The small grains look very good and the sugarbeets will do fine. Small grain harvest should start around Aug. 20th, which is about three weeks behind normal.
“Because of the unseasonably cool weather soybeans and corn are not doing well. I am especially corcerned about the corn, which has only begun to tassle the first of August. Our normal first frost date is Sept. 20. I don’t think there is any way we can make up for lost time. We will just have to see what August and September bring.”
How does that compare to your area?