A lot of uncertainty is facing ag retailers and cooperatives, given the growing challenges facing their customers. And one of the most significant issues farmers are dealing with is record-high fertilizer prices.
To stay within budget, growers are employing a variety of strategies. Some farmers plan to use more animal sources like poultry litter and more efficient placement methods, such as strip-tilling or in-furrow. In the Texas High Plains, most farmers will skip pre-plant applications. Others predict growers might avoid applying fertilizer altogether if their soils have adequate nutrient levels.
Changing cropping plans also appears to be another tactic to combat fertilizer prices. The USDA reports farmers intend to plant more acres of soybeans in 2022, likely because the crop has lower fertilizer needs than corn, particularly nitrogen.
Fuel Prices Tighten Farm Budgets Further
Unfortunately, fertilizer isn’t the only expense putting pressure on farmers’ bottom lines. They’re also contending with higher fuel prices. One farmer in South Carolina witnessed diesel prices increase by nearly 75%, while a grower in Illinois says the price for a tanker load costs more than double from 2021. Fuel prices also impact the cost of other expenses because every input delivered to the farm uses fuel to get there.
Whether farmers do fieldwork themselves or outsource to custom applicators, they’re still likely paying for the cost of that fuel. And that may affect their purchasing power for other products and services.
Software Helps Retailers Improve What’s Within Their Control
These expenses are just two factors of a multitude that affect farmers, and any changes they make to their business can impact their retailer—for good or bad. Maybe a grower now needs custom spreading because they found a manure source. But another may decide to reduce their herbicide budget and cut back on custom spraying.
With so many variables outside of an ag retailer’s control, now is the time to improve what is within your control. The right software solutions can help.
Take Carroll Service Company, FS, for example—a retailer serving northern Illinois since 1930. The business reached a point where they needed more information to reduce expenses, increase efficiencies, and grow. With agronomic software, they were able to quantify how they were operating and the areas where they could improve.
Their biggest revelation was how much time their equipment spent idle. This data led them to reduce their fleet size by 30% and increase the number of acres each machine covered. Despite covering more acres in 2021 compared to 2020, they spent:
- 56% less time traveling
- 52% less time stopped or waiting
- 27% more time working in the field
Chase Sellnow, GM & CEO of the company, says it ultimately helped them avoid making bad decisions and prevent unnecessary costs.
From spiking fertilizer and fuel prices to rising equipment price tags, ag retailers continue to feel margin pressure. With Solinftec’s solutions, we can help you identify the opportunities to cut costs and increase profits. Using our ALICE AI platforms, our solutions help optimize routes, improve communication, better organize your scheduling, optimize routes and ensure every machine is utilized to its max. All of which can result in a more efficient operation.
Protect your future from the uncontrollable now. Contact Solinftec today for a demo.