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Riding Along at the Bushel Buddy Seat Conference

 

More than 200 attendees sat in on the presentations for Bushel’s Buddy Seat Conference. Throughout the day, there were segments on how Bushel customers use the platform to support different roles throughout their agribusiness. Here are some highlights. 

The View from the Grain Originator Seat

For grain originators, the Bushel platform has streamlined communication to help build relationships and originate grain in a streamlined way. When farmers can make offers on grain sales through a mobile app, Bushel customers observe more than 40% of offers generated digitally. This feature significantly boosts origination growth, with an average increase of 13% in the first year and 30% in the second year for these customers. Big River Resources has experienced mobile offers filling two to three times more likely than desktop offers. 

“Our offers come at a time that fits the farmer and that’s not always in our business hours,” said Tom Parchert, grain merchandiser at Big River Resources.  

Recently, automation was added to the process as offers move into contracts. This new feature simplifies the grain industry’s process by automatically inputting contract data into their accounting system, saving staff a significant amount of time. This automation not only addresses the labor shortfall but also mitigates duplicated efforts and errors from manual entry.

The View from the Grain Merchandiser Seat

Updates to the Bushel platform have made it easier for grain merchandisers and accountants to look up all information at the same time to improve decision-making in the moment. Neil Schuller, Manager of Producer Marketing & Risk Management for The Andersons Inc. said they use the Bushel platform to reduce risk exposure. With the high level of market volatility grain merchandisers are seeing today, minutes matter to ensure that information is flowing where multiple stakeholders in the same company can look at the same data. 

“It becomes easier to look at the external impacts with the efficiencies and communicating with customers,” Schuller said.  

The View from the Ag Retailer  Seat

While Bushel is known for providing solutions for the grain industry, many grain customers also use the Bushel platform to strengthen their ag retail business. Easy access to prepaids and bookings for fertilizer, seed, and chemicals reduce time-consuming phone calls during the busy season. 

Recently Frontier Cooperative added a direct link on the app to order fuel, and a similar esign experience for both grain contracts and ordering feed, energy, and agronomy products. Brian Choutka of Frontier Cooperative talked about their farmers seeing how easy the mobile app and web portal were to navigate, and how they could use the Bushel platform for both their agronomy and energy products as well. 

“The prepaids will show the quantity remaining and as it gets utilized, the producers really like seeing in real-time what they have left,” Choutka said.

Through the platform, farmers can see what is remaining on their prepaids that they haven’t used yet. Push notifications about special offers, sales, and updates help nudge farmers when they are in decision-making mode. 

The View from the Admin  Seat

The #1 priority of most admins is having ways to drive efficiency and reduce time on the phone. AGRIServices of Brunswick uses push notifications to alert customers of pertinent market fluctuations, changing hours, and receiving statuses. Grain Merchandiser Mike Hainline shared the recommendation to make sure to always check if their farmers have notifications set up for the mobile app. 

“It just comes down to efficiency. Bushel just helps so much to be faster getting things done. You’re not spending time on the phone. I can see right there the contract went out, the farmer saw it and it’s been signed,” Hainline said.

The View from the Farmer Seat

Matt Perreault is a fourth-generation farmer from Illinois who has been using Bushel Farm since 2013 when it was still FarmLogs, and he uses his local elevators’ apps powered by Bushel. While Perreault started out with a basic FarmLogs account to receive rainfall alerts, heading in 2021 he upgraded to Bushel Farm’s Business plan subscription. Rather than using spreadsheets and accounting software, he was looking for the one tool that would cover all of the financial aspects of his operations. 

“One thing my dad said to me was regardless of how we transition our operations from one generation to the next, we need to make sure it’s profitable on both sides,” he said. Perreault said he knew that they were profitable from year-to-year. It was the field-level insights that gave them more confidence in decision-making on different practices, including seed selection, tillage passes, and fertilizer applications just to name a few. He also checks out the Marketing feature of Bushel Farm frequently to view his marketing position and breakeven price, which in turn gives him confidence in his grain marketing decisions. 

In regard to Bushel’s mobile app purchased by grain companies and provided to their farmer customers at no cost, Perreault had this to say: “I would rather do business with a grain buyer who makes my life easier than harder. Fortunately for me, the local elevators I have always worked with have adopted the Bushel app which saves everyone time in the end. Being able to view my transactional information instead of calling or waiting on something to be emailed or mailed makes doing office work quick and easy. I spend more days of the year outside of the office than in it, so when I sit down at my desk, it’s really nice to have all of the information available at my fingertips.”

To learn more about the Bushel Buddy Seat visit: Bushel Buddy Seat Recap 2023.

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