CFQ: Websites may be Fertile Link for Building Relationships
Freeman says they will continue to add new research, boiling down peer-reviewed scientific articles to three or four key points, along with updating blog and current event posts.
PotashCorp's new online resource, www.potashcorp-ekonomics.com, provides analysis of soil science data and agronomic information, along with interactive calculators, video, infographics and other tools to help farmers make better management decisions.
"The easy-to-understand site helps educate farmers about the benefits of fertilizers—specifically potash—and what it can deliver to their bottom lines," said Robert Mullen, PotashCorp's director of agronomy. "Since we are a fertilizer producer with no retail sales, our domestic product goes to wholesalers and retailers. Part of the reason for creating this site was to communicate with farmers. We want them to have relevant information in a concise, accessible format."
Content is to help growers but can be used by agronomists/consultants assisting farmers. Features of the website include:
- Nutrient ROI Calculator: allows farmers to calculate potential increase in yield and profit related to adequate potash and phosphate applications.
- Growing Degree Day Calculator: allows farmers to determine crop development for their locations and to use the tool to help scout for some insect pests.
- Rainfall Tracker: provides access to rainfall data for a specific region.
- Nutrient Removal Calculator: allows farmers to understand the amount of crop nutrients removed following harvest and what may be needed to maintain optimum yield potential.
"A retailer might sit down with a customer to find information about how to use nutrients and the interaction of nutrients. We have a pdf presentation the retailer can download and share with the farmer," Mullen said. "Another good example is use of the calculators in scouting programs. A retailer can use the Growing Degree Day Calculator to check timing for scouting. The Nutrient ROI Calculator, based on soil tests, can calculate potential average return; a first in the industry."
Mullen says feedback to date has been positive. Retailers are finding the tool can help fill in customer conversations. Good social media sharing helps spread the word.
"During the next eight to 10 months, we plan to expand our tools to other geographies and crops. Our initial efforts focus on Midwest corn and soybeans. We were able to build those models first," he said. "The ROI Calculator will expand to the Southeast and to cotton and wheat."