When one of Colusa County Farm Supply’s (CCFS) growers showed agronomist Jim Pingrey what Agworld looks like and how it can help farmers as well as agronomists, Jim and his colleagues became interested in how it could improve the growers forecast with chemical and fertility management.
After a temporary trial of Agworld and looking at the benefits offered, agronomists at CCFS decided to utilize Agworld themselves. They could collaborate with their clients using Agworld as well as organize chemical and fertility management to create budgets.
By utilizing the Agworld platform, CCFS agronomists have been able to simplify and improve fertility management for their clients, making their jobs easier on a daily basis. They are also able to service their clients better through the budgets that Agworld creates together with seasonal planning; the agronomists are able to show growers their planned fertility inputs along with chemical and herbicide inputs as well as costs for the whole season ahead.
Supporting growers in the Sacramento Valley
Colusa County Farm Supply (CCFS), based in Williams, CA, started in 1973 as a grower’s co-op aimed at servicing growers in the Sacramento Valley. CCFS has since transitioned into a corporation, the original co-op members still form the majority of the shareholders. The focus of CCFS has not changed. Now servicing over 150,000 acres of both row crops and permanent planting, CCFS ensures that growers have access to all goods and services needed to get the best possible yields. Rice and almonds form the bulk of acreages for CCFS with tomatoes and walnuts established as well. “We support growers with a wide variety of crops. Agronomy is very different for trees, rice or tomatoes and those are only a few of the many crops we service! Because of this, proper planning and accurate scheduling and tracking of our applications is very important to us.” says Jim Pingrey, agronomist with CCFS.
“In 2015, one of our growers was looking at Agworld and asked myself and a colleague to do the same and see whether we should implement it together. The main thing I was immediately attracted to in Agworld was the fertility management, I could see how it could help us manage progress and execution of fertility management at any given point during the season. I also like that Agworld has good record keeping abilities and historic data overview capabilities(.) All of that makes my job a little bit easier on a daily basis. I also felt that Agworld was genuinely trying to streamline the platform to our growers’ needs and that they could have input in the process. I felt that Agworld’s customer service was above and beyond the competitors. All these things combined showed us that Agworld is a tool that helps us improve the service we provide to our growers, so we decided to implement Agworld within CCFS at the same time as some of our growers implemented Agworld.”
CCFS agronomists use the budgeting capabilities of Agworld in order to create improved plans for their growers. Jim elaborates: “What I love about budgeting with Agworld is that we’re easily able to create a product price sheet. When I am working on planning for the season ahead, I can automatically create a financial budget for my growers as well. They can review all the activities we’re planning on performing, as well as the cost of each individual activity. The plans show which fertility inputs, herbicides and pesticides we’re recommending to apply. It’s one aspect for a grower to know what we’re planning on doing in the year ahead. It is entirely to their benefit to know exactly what we’re planning to spend their money on. The grower has so much confidence in the budget created, that they are able to use it in collaboration with their bank. This enhances the understanding of everyone involved and makes all of us more conscious of what we’re trying to achieve.”
“During the season Agworld shows growers both their ongoing applications as well as ongoing expenses. I think it is great that it provides growers the opportunity to track their economic standing as the season progresses. Instead of risking a ‘shock at the end of the season’, they know exactly the trajectory of their budgets. You’ve got a lot of growers who just don’t have any idea of how much money they’re spending and then all of a sudden, they’ve run out of funding. That exact visibility is the beauty of having your plans in Agworld.”
Fertility management was one of the key features that got Jim and fellow colleagues at CCFS interested in Agworld. It is still an element they appreciate and use within Agworld, Jim explains: “By creating fertility plans in Agworld I feel that we are able to distinguish ourselves from some of our competition. Through Agworld we can easily show a sound budgeting and fertility plan that translates into value in relation to yields. Having all nutritional applications prepared ahead of time helps both PCA and grower stay focused during the season without risking getting off course.”
“Agworld assists with open communication between myself and my growers. As soon as I have submitted a planned activity in a recommendation, the grower gets an Agworld notification and knows there’s work to be done. They can then review this recommendation and contact me if they have any concerns. If not, they can just turn it straight into a work order and get it underway. They have a fairly good idea already of what we’re going to do which eliminates most of the questions. I believe our growers feel that we’re careful and considerate and work very much according to a structured plan; It creates confidence and aligns their expectations.”
Jim concludes with: “Within CCFS, Agworld is a key part of the communication with our growers. Agworld enables us to plan and budget with our growers and execute accordingly during the season. Routing the whole process through Agworld has enhanced mutual understanding with our growers and simplified our budgeting and fertility management.”
"Agworld enables us to plan and budget with our growers and execute accordingly during the season. Routing the whole process through Agworld has enhanced mutual understanding with our growers and simplified our budgeting and fertility management."
Jim PingreyColusa County Farm Supply, Williams, CA
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