Selling crops has always been a difficult part of farming as producers search for the best bids and then factor in the cost of delivering crops to market.
Farmer’s Business Network, the company that developed software that allows farmers to find the best prices when buying crop inputs, is now bringing digital innovation to crop marketing. FBN has launched a digital crop marketing platform that lets farmers find the best prices when selling their crops.
The firm’s Crop Marketing system puts a vast number of cash bids at a farmer’s fingertips, some of those bids may be many miles outside of the farmer’s traditional market area. In addition, the system ‘s Profit Center function factors in shipping and storage costs so that farmers can quickly assess the bottom line benefits of any particular bid.
Mark Gath, Luverne, Minnesota, was selected to Beta test the system the past six months and has used it to sell some of his soybeans.
“It is one-stop shopping. Normally, you would go to many different websites or go to your local elevators. But these guys have all of them on there,” said Gath.
Gath has been farming for 36 years in southwest Minnesota, southeast South Dakota and northern Iowa. Drought conditions are developing there and Gath said FBN’s system should help quickly identify if end-users are raising bids to get grain, particularly ethanol plants.
“It will give me another viewpoint to what is happening 60 miles further out from my farm, maybe even 200 miles. Grain can be hauled pretty far especially if we have this problem in the Dakotas,” he said.
Charles Baron, co-founder of FBN said most farmers sell all of their grain in a 15-mile radius of their farm.
“One farmer discovered a $1 per bushel advantage for driving 100 miles – even after factoring in shipping costs,” Baron said in a statement.
The “Select Markets” function links farmers of specialty crops with buyers to capture price premiums for those crops. FBN Select Markets has contracted thousands of acres of crops for the 2017 season, and is developing contracts for the 2018 season.
Profit Center and Select Markets have undergone real-world testing with selected farmers using the systems.
“I have local bids on my dashboard in front of me, I automatically know my trucking and storage costs and without me doing any math in my head,” Minnesota farmer Cory Nohl said in the FBN release.
To access FBN Crop Marketing, farmers must be a member of FBN, which costs $600 per year. For more information, visit farmersbusinessnetwork.com/crop-marketing