E-Commerce Part 1/6: Put Purchasing Power in Farmer Hands

Make sure you're fully informed before shopping for inputs online. ( AgWeb )

As seed and chemical companies jockey for the farmer’s dollar, tight margins have left some price shopping for better deals.

“I buy more than half of my herbicides and fungicides online,” says Greg Close, a corn and soybean farmer near Reynolds, Ill. He started shopping online 18 years ago because it offers advantages retailers couldn’t.

As farms change hands, rural internet access improves and reliable online options increase, virtual shopping for farm inputs is expected to continue to grow.

USDA E commerce Statistics
USDA e-commerce statistics by state

Do your research on the online supplier before buying.

“I don’t require many services, agronomic or otherwise,” Close says of his 3,000-acre Illinois farm. “That’s what makes this program work. If you need service or credit this probably won’t work for you.”

While convenience is a big factor, make sure your farm is equipped for this method of buying and the possibility of services being impacted.

This six-part series will examine companies on the market now to help inform your decision making. FarmTrade, Farmer’s Business Network (FBN), Agroy Farmers Buying Group Inc., CommoditAg and AgVend sell inputs online. Before changing your shopping habits know what to expect and any limitations.