TriGen Ag Partners is a grain, agronomy, and feed operation based in Max, N.D. It has four locations around west central North Dakota handling wheat, soybeans, durum, flax, peas, and canola. Rick Talbott is the general manager. TriGen knew farmers were interested in accessing their information digitally and Talbott credits the farmers for the success TriGen has seen on rolling out their mobile app and website portal, powered by Bushel.
Many times farmers are checking market updates and futures pricing at night when TriGen isn’t open to take their call. Adding a make offer button to the TriGen mobile app, met farmers where they were at in what they wanted to do for grain sales. It created an easy way to make an offer at the right price, at the right time. It also streamlined filling those orders and created more opportunities to proactively call farmers when the order fills and talk to them about future selling opportunities.
“It seems like when the market is doing good things, it’s at night when we’re not available. With the app, it gives the farmers the options to put in those working orders on their own, on their own time,” Talbott said.
TriGen also added the ability for farmers to eSign contracts, giving both the farmers and TriGen peace of mind on contract status. If a farmer hasn’t signed a contract, TriGen uses that opportunity to be proactive and give them a nudge to make sure that it’s signed and returned easily. “It’s no more expensive than putting it in the mail,” Talbott said.
To create awareness for the new app and website, TriGen hung up posters at their locations and included statement stuffers for their mailings. Previously they had sent out daily emails with cash bid prices. For a short time, they doubled up on sending out the emails while having the cash bids available on the website and mobile app. However, for the last few emails, information to access the new website and mobile app was provided to boost adoption.
Through time, the TriGen staff no longer had to prepare and send out that cash bid email – the information was available to farmers anytime day or night. They have more than 200 contracts signed digitally from January to September 2023. With easy access to making offers, TriGen has seen 47% of all submitted bushels coming from Bushel Mobile. “When we started, I was nervous we wouldn’t meet the minimum on the flat rate usage. But I was pleasantly surprised. Once you show the farmer how to use it, they like to watch the bid, the futures and what they are doing,” Talbott said of the trading activities now available day and night.
And in the end, Talbott says it’s the farmers driving this digitization and they are ready for new ways of doing business with their local grain elevators and ag retailers.
“It’s because the farmers like it and want to use it. I give all credit to those guys for using it,” Talbott said.