Due to advancements in technology we are becoming more in tune with the interaction we have with the various resources of water, soil, and living creatures. Policies and consumer sentiments based on these findings have a direct impact on the farming profession and those who supply the farmer. And we who are blessed to be involved in something so fundamental to mankind have a great opportunity to champion the stewardship of farming and the environment.
Food security comes through stability…stability of farming, farmer environment, and supplier.
As we move forward in the 4R Stewardship Program and develop our professional skills as nutrient consultants we learn that there is a deep and dynamic relationship between crop, all elements of soil, and the weather – good old unpredictable weather. Due to advancements in process technology and crop science, the retailer of nutrient products has a greater assortment of product choices to provide safe and effective nutrient management recommendations to help compensate for weather changes.
As we have adopted the 4R Concept for the Right Source at the Right Rate at the Right Time at the Right Place. Being a retailer in a competitive marketplace you will find sales and marketing opportunities to advance your dealership as the leader in the local marketplace. It is this area that you can truly shine as by sourcing out products using what I call the “Three P’s” of Product, Performance, and Professionalism.
Products that suit the particular local market and environmental demands your customers are faced with. Performance that it in synch with the performance your grower’s crop needs when it is needed. Professionalism that can be applied to the interactions you have with your customer, the consumer, or official explaining what it is you carry and why you carry it. It is in the area of customizing your fertility recommendations that your professional skills and knowledge can be brought to bear. Be prepared to explain the best ways to handle and apply the technology you bring to the table in the products you offer.
As we enter the realm of localized recommendations based on farmer/buyer concerns, the day of “one fertilizer recommendation fitting all” is quickly fading. It will be up to you to determine what new products and technologies best fit your market. Some new products perform best when used in conjunction with time proven offerings. Complex interactions such as the nitrogen cycle with crop and even varietal demand curves are great examples of opportunities to show your professionalism by crafting multi-source solutions! Someone may have a very good specialized product, but if they don’t know how to use it properly then it is wasted so seek out solid products with rock solid support.
We are in exciting times! And one thing is for certain, things will change. Few other industries are better at adapting than the one that has to adapt to the weather while feeding billions! As we advance in the development of certain nutrient sources it will become more critical than ever to have training in the effective use of these new products so as to maximize an acceptable return on the investment in a premium product while minimizing the impact on the environment.