The Cost Of Not Listening To Retailers

Talking with many growers over the past few weeks at events such as Commodity Classic, I’ve often heard the same opinion about ag retailers – they are a valued part of my management team/decision-making process each year. While this is good to hear, many retailers have recently told me it isn’t always true.

At many events I’ve attended this winter, the No. 1 complaint ag retailers have about their grower-customers is that they don’t always follow the advice they are being given. “Many of these growers know better than to spray weeds that are more than six inches tall,” said one retailer. “But they did it anyway, and now I’m trying to help them deal with a resistant weed problem they helped create.”

This topic came up last week when I was visiting with some folks from WinField Solutions, LLC. Speaking with John Romines, vice president of sales for the company, the discussion ultimately turned to how important ag retailers are to their grower-customers when it comes to providing not only crop inputs and services, but good, solid advice on how to improve crop yields and make more money.

And when I brought up the fact that many ag retailers felt frustrated by their growers’ ignoring their agronomic recommendations, he had a one-word reply: Money.

“For any retailer in this type of situation, I would tell them to say these words to their reluctant grower,” said Romines. “If you will work with me, I’ll help you get five or 10 bushels more yields out of your crops. And that way, you will have the money you need to outbid that guy down the road for those 400 acres of prime cropland that just became available for sale.”

Sounds like some great financial advice to me. Let’s hope many grower-customers think so as well.

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