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Technology as a Service

Spotting a trend within the ag retail sector

Elise Schafer headshot Headshot
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At the recent Interconnectivity Conference, held June 26 and 27 in Altoona, IA, several important themes were discussed that will directly impact your business. While I am sure many of you are aware of these trends and needs, there were a few key aspects that need to be tied together.

First, your business as an ag retailer demands that you stay up to speed on all aspects of prescription farming and precision agriculture. Terry Panbecker, manager of Midwest Agronomic Professional Services at New Cooperative in Iowa, pointed out how not only are they providing more and more advanced technology support to their farm customers, they’re also providing technology to other co-ops wishing to grow their technology-as-a-service business.

Second, Carolyn McBeth, a farmer from south-central Iowa, pointed out that while their farm’s original goal was to add acres to build a future for their children to farm, that objective has switched to getting more from each acre, rather than adding acres. Dr. Mike Swanson, ag economist for Wells Fargo, urged attendees to grow bushels not acres.

Third, there will be volatility in weather and in transportation (as I’ve mentioned before), all of which can impact your costs and your customers’ ROI.

What’s it all mean? Feed & Grain magazine and have always focused intensively on providing information about state-of-the-art construction, which you’ll see reflected by this issue’s cover story. We’ve talked about progressive remodeling efforts that make feed and grain facilities safer and more efficient. And I am bragging a bit here, but I think we’ve become a key resource to help you generate ideas and find products that offer solutions.

A B2B publication doesn’t stay relevant for 50+ years (like Feed & Grain has) without reacting quickly to the market it serves, so, recognizing that many of our ag retailer readers are relying heavily on technology today, we’re reacting with more coverage on how you can become what McBeth called “a trusted advisor” — referring to Jeff Graff, who provides integrated solutions (technology) in his role as her John Deere dealer.

With that preamble, please read about Cooperative Producers, Inc.'s CPI 300 program, an internet-based program that helps farmers grow more yield from the same field. And stay tuned for your copy of the August/September issue of Feed & Grain, where CPI-Lansing, a joint venture between Cooperative Producers, Inc. and Lansing Trade Group, is featured on the cover with its new shuttle loader facility in Fairmont, NE.

We’d like to know more about how you’re becoming a key part of your customers’ team(s) for profitably improving yields. You can reach me at [email protected]. Your feedback could end up in a future issue of Feed & Grain.

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