There’s a feeling of optimism in the spring air. The price of corn has reached an eight-year high, and Purdue University-CME Group’s March 2021 Ag Economy Barometer, which assesses the health of the agricultural economy, marked its second highest reading in five years. It’s a complete U-turn compared to the taxing economic times U.S. farmers have persevered through over the last few years.
In circumstances like this, optimism typically spurs a sense of certainty. As an industry, we are only 100% certain about one thing: uncertainty is inherent in crop production. The unpredictability of recent seasons has taught us we need to be more innovative and agile.
At WinField United, we have embraced this wholeheartedly over the past couple years. We recalibrated our cost to serve and reassessed the solutions we bring to the table for our retail-owner network. We worked hand in hand with these partners to deliver programs and tools that helped them better respond to the mounting challenges their farmers faced, especially when it came to managing risk and generating more predictable outcomes. These actions resulted in us:
- Shifting focus from yield per acre to generating the greatest possible return on a farmer’s input investment.
- Moving from a products-only interaction to a products and services model with platforms like financing, warranty programs, and the digitalization of the segment.
- Creating new markets with offers like TruCarbon, which generate additional revenue streams and what we like to call farming’s new double crop.
Through these approaches, we helped our retail-owners bring a level of stability to their farmers when everything felt shaky. Now, with more favorable market conditions, we can use these same strategies to help them maximize their earning potential.
So, where do we go from here? What’s the plan? Looking at the landscape, now is the time for farmers to work with their local retailers to capitalize on the innovative tools, programs and technologies at their disposal. The strategy: Harness these solutions to generate the greatest possible return on their seasonal investment.
Throughout our system, we want to help farmers achieve the most profitable season possible. That requires helping them think beyond the traditional “yield per acre” mindset and focus on a more efficient and effective use of inputs to reduce risk and generate the greatest possible return on investment. We do that by taking a holistic approach that pushes operations to the next level agronomically, financially, tactically, and innovatively. From our stance, the basis of this features:
- Tools like our SECURE financing, WinField United’s low-interest alternative financing program, and Advanced Acre Rx, our agronomic prescription service that leverages data and insights with the goal of increasing profit per acre and lowering per bushel costs for corn and soybeans.
- Digitally enabled interactions throughout our system in areas like decision ag (turning insights to action and creating new markets through our R7 Tool), sales enablement (using our system’s data to best serve the growers of tomorrow through our ACRE approach), and system efficiencies (removing B2B duplication and adding automation through our Evolve platform).
- The Fundamental Five, our collection of critical agronomic actions farmers can take to support season-long crop management and create a better potential return on their inputs.
- Accelerated adoption of our innovation pipeline — products, services, digital tools — and helping manufacturer partners bring products to market quicker.
Without question, there are major changes and unforeseen challenges ahead for our industry. But, for today, we know it’s more important than ever to provide workable solutions to help farmers capitalize on positive market conditions, while always being prepared for the unexpected.
The time is now for farmers and their trusted local retailer to work together to harness the tools at their disposal to make the most of this season and those to come.