Agronomists

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling Crops & Agronomy' started by TopBanana, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. TopBanana

    TopBanana Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    Do you need to separate advice from supply?

    I'm all for getting value for money and paying for a good independent service which serves my business. But do I need to separate advice and supply to deconflict the two?

    I'm starting to think there's a conflict of interest in getting the same person to advice and then supply. With this in mind I'm interested to hear views. I think decoupling and getting a different supply chain may make my business more profitable and I'll maybe get a different approach to recommendations.
     
  2. Boysground

    Boysground Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    One of the best things I did was move to an independent agronomist. He walks the crops then we have a discussion and come up with a plan. I organise the chemicals myself.

    Bg
     
    trook135 and skinnyhoskins like this.
  3. Steevo

    Steevo Member

    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    I like the fact the two are separate. It gives me 100% trust in my agronomist and his justification for his decisions even if I disagree with them. That is worth a lot to me.
     
    woody 1, TopBanana and Boysground like this.
  4. TopBanana

    TopBanana Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    That's what I'm missing. That's the break between advice and supply where there's no conflict of interest.
     
  5. Boysground

    Boysground Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    I totally agree. I know the agronomist is doing the best for me and not somebody else in the chain.

    Bg
     
  6. Steevo

    Steevo Member

    Location:
    Gloucestershire
    One thing I would be slightly mindful of....if you wanted to keep your distributor agronomist, but put supply out to a wider market. The distributor agronomist's employer will prefer they prescribe a distributor only product, rather than the generic version. The agronomist therefore gets used to prescribing this product by name. If they recommend that product to you by brand name, rather than generic brand name you won't be able to get comparisons as it can only be supplied by that company.

    Tracker (233g/l epoxi + 65g/l boscalid) for example is also marketed as Chord (for Hutchinsons I belive) in concentration 210g/l + 75g/l. Essentially the same product, but slightly tweaked to make it unique to them.

    If prescribed Chord...Tracker would be the product you would need to be quoted on from others to get a close comparison.

    Same goes for Aviator etc. Each distributor seems to have their own tweaked version of it unique to them.

    Why do they make it so confusing and such hard work?! Well to make it hard work and discourage you from doing it.
     
    Brisel and BenB like this.
  7. Yes, I went down the road of an independent agronomist about 2 yrs ago, allows me freedom to shop around for inputs, as well as being far more open to not just relying on " bag or bottle " solutions.
    Sales agronomists are expected to sell. Their employers don't make any money out of them suggesting cultural or biological options to synthetic ones . . .
    With an independent agro, YOU are their employer
     
  8. Boysground

    Boysground Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    This is exactly what I did to start with. Kept agronomist and shopped for chems. Just made me realise how the chemical companies work. Was only a year before the independent agronomist started.

    Bg
     
    Farmer Roy likes this.
  9. Brisel

    Brisel Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    How about an independent agronomist with their own buying group? That way you get joined up knowledge of the best value product. Not being 100% sure of your exact location in Dorset, I'd say that Crop Management Partners (and Agritek buying arm) or Crop Advisors will have someone in your area. CMP have agronomists with Conservation Agriculture clients.
     
    Badshot likes this.
  10. parker

    parker Member

    Location:
    south staffs
    Been independent for about ten years now would never go back, what I save on chemicals by shopping around nearly pays for my agronomy bill, and I am always sure their is no commercial gain to be had, but I have also never gained by being in buying groups as I have always been able to get a better deal much to their disgust
     
    Farmer Roy likes this.
  11. Will Blackburn

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Which ones have you tried? I'm surprised they take that view. Some guys know how to get a deal and usually there is mutual respect between parties.
     
  12. Rob Holmes

    Rob Holmes Moderator

    Playing devil's advocate here:

    If the savings nearly pays for agronomy bill, then surely you'd be better off with serviced agronomy?
     
  13. Badshot

    Badshot Member

    Location:
    Kent
    Not if the chems recommended aren't quite what you need, but fit what they sell.
     
    Farmer Roy likes this.
  14. Agronomy doesn't just cover chem & fert recommendations . . .
    An independent agro may advise to do nothing, to change rotation, a biological solution, maybe tillage instead of a spray, perhaps different varieties . . . or one of many things that may be in the best interest of their client but doesn't necessarily result in any sales !
    One of my contracting clients is an ex agro for one of the largest Ag chem & fert resellers in the country. He has quite an interest in other solutions rather than just the " bag & bottle " ones, building soil biology, using green manure or cover crops etc - anyway, management didn't look favourably on that & he got a bollocking for not selling enough product. Part of the reason he quit & now farms for himself. He also uses the same independent agro I do.
     
  15. Im doing my own agronomy. There are some gaps in my.knowledge but to be honest long term no till was starting to through a few curveballs that I wasnt able to get answers from existing agronomist.

    Now ive got a strategy in place one or two conversations with salesman agronomists, use this, the press and niab and to be honest its pretty sorted
     
    Andy26, Louis Mc and Tractor Boy like this.
  16. Big-Al

    Big-Al Member

    Location:
    Rugby Warwickshire
    Haven't seen one of our (independent )agronomists since May the 5th and only twice since October not sure whether to change him this year, he has had enough warnings over the years, but he is good with his mixes a conundrum i think. i have two independent and one on the books for a chemical company. and yes chem company a lot more money.
     
  17. TopBanana

    TopBanana Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    I trust my agronomist and have respect for his knowledge and not really looking to jump ship. It takes time to build trust.
    The question is whether I need to invest the time into shopping around for chem, fert & seed.
     
  18. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    Would you ask a car salesman if you need a new car ?

    Supply agronomy has a place but does have a big cost. If your farming any kind of acreage then the savings from a good independent will be massive

    It's not just the price difference if inputs you need to consider it's multitude of "extra" they sell

    In perspective one of my contract farm clients has just compared his long established supply agronomy to independent - the Indy is £20/t better margining wheat ! That's £60-£80/ac ! And this was on a big acreage

    Guess what he's doing next year ....

    I think there is a big trend right now away from supply agronomy, question is are there enough good independents to service that ?
     
    TopBanana, Farmer Roy and martian like this.
  19. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    Location:
    Lichfield
    He can't be expected to work for free

    If you like him and he does a good job why not ask to pay a agronomy fee and buy your inputs yourself on quote ?
     
  20. TopBanana

    TopBanana Member

    Location:
    Dorset
    I'd pay him more if he could secure the best product at the best price.

    I do pay a set fee and like I said I would happily increase it. My issue is I'd struggle to go out shopping for prices on chem given the time this takes, more potential for the other inputs though.
     

Share This Page