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Is Your Ag Partner Delivering What You Need?

Two men loading seed bags into a truck
You’re a hardworking farmer. You want an honest partner who’s going to help you advance your business. And there are a lot of companies out there that say they can deliver. The thing is, sometimes they can and sometimes they can’t.
A good partner should make your life easier. Here are seven questions to ask yourself when evaluating your current partners or if you’re looking for new partnership opportunities.  

1. Can they really meet your needs?

Many retailers offer a lot of products and services, but they’re fragmented. Purchasing your ag tech capabilities through one channel and your seed through another can get unwieldly and complicate decision-making. Through our network of local retailers, WinField United offers a one-stop shop for whatever you need to move your farm forward. We provide:
  • Crop protection products: An array of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, and our industry-leading adjuvants InterLock® and StrikeLock®.
  • Plant nutrition: All the nutrients you need to promote plant health, including our MAX-IN® line of micronutrients in addition to NutriSolutions® tissue sampling and soil sampling.
  • Seed: Our CROPLAN® seed line with leading-edge technologies, plus a variety of partnered seed brands, offer both quality and scope.
  • Data/research: Our Answer Plot® program continues to generate millions of data points that you and your trusted advisor can access directly. It’s information you can use to make informed decisions based on facts, not hunches.

2. Are they invested in you?

It’s not just about how much capital a company is investing, it’s also what they’re investing it in. Evaluate your partners to see which ones are committing dollars to projects that ultimately benefit you. For example, we’ve funded a number of programs that provide farmers with valuable research and insights, including:
  • The WinField United Innovation Center: This 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art research facility is focused on product testing and research to help protect the investment in and potential of every customer acre.
  • The Answer Plot program: Nearly 140 Answer Plot locations around the country provide live agronomic demonstrations and test plot data, generating in excess of 6 million data points to date. These feed into WinField United ag tech tools, bringing relevant data straight to your farm.

3. Will they use you?

With new, untested ag tech tools hitting the market, some companies are looking to use your operation and data to test their products and offerings. Don’t settle for being anyone’s beta. WinField United has been all-in on ag tech since it was put in farmers’ hands nearly a decade ago. Starting with the introduction of the R7® Tool in 2011, WinField United has been an ag tech leader, introducing game-changing resources such as:
  • The R7 Tool, which leverages our rich Answer Plot data for seed placement and seed management, and provides access to imagery and tissue sampling data so you can understand how your fields are performing and manage them appropriately.
  • The R7 Field Forecasting Tool, which simulates daily crop growth and development to schedule optimal timing and rates for nutrient and water applications.
  • The R7 Field Monitoring Tool, which enables you to scout more efficiently and plan input applications more precisely.

4. Are they always available?

A good partner should always be willing and able to meet you on your terms. Demand an end-to-end customer experience that lets you plan confidently, buy smarter and operate your farm more effectively. Our new e-business capability provides product recommendations that are informed by local data and based on field performance and forecasts, so you order the right products for your operation — not just generic ones — online any time. You have the option of connecting with your agronomist either through our portal website or face-to-face at your local retailer, whatever is most convenient for you at any particular time. In-person or online, it’s your choice.

5. Are they a good neighbor?

In agriculture, access to local expertise is what you rely on to help you make critical management decisions. Turning over the “local” facet of your operation to a faceless entity can cause you to lose focus. And that’s something no farmer can afford to do. Our network of nearly 1,300 WinField United–affiliated retailers knows our products and services inside out. Our retailers host clinics and Answer Plot events. They’ve been trained in using our tech tools. And they’re your neighbors. They can walk fields with you, recommend products, perform soil or tissue sampling, and act as sounding boards. That level of connection is priceless.

6. Do they give you confidence?

Current market conditions may make saving money on inputs up front appealing. But if that means working with nontraditional ag retailers, it’s important to understand the risks you may be taking with unknown products and few supporting facts. Remember, price isn’t just about the initial investment, it’s about the return you can expect on that investment. WinField United products are thoroughly tested and come with the security of having a partner that will support you when issues arise in the field and complex decisions need to be made.

7. Do they play well with others?

You likely work with more than one partner on your operation. Just make sure your partners are willing to seamlessly fit into the mix. Insist they meet you where you are as a farmer and don’t feel pressured to compromise to fit into their system. At WinField United, we’re willing to do that. For example, we’re constantly adding to the list of partners that are connected to the Answer Tech Data Silo®, our cloud-based data-management system. Once connected, data from partner tools will automatically upload to the Data Silo for storage and use, saving you the task of having to enter data manually.
Technology evolves every day, and WinField United continues to evolve right along with it by advancing agriculture intelligently. Flat commodity prices make us even more determined to continue providing you with expertise, quality and value. Talk with your local trusted advisor about how we can help your operation succeed through innovation.
© 2019 WinField United. Answer Plot®, Answer Tech Data Silo®, CROPLAN®, InterLock®, MAX-IN®, NutriSolutions®, R7®, StrikeLock® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.