One of the key goals of the cooperative is to help its members buy and sell their grain at a fair price. Each month, Courson meets with branch managers to talk about how they can improve and provide better access to markets. One improvement that they identified was to help farmers find market information more easily – cash bids, futures markets, news resources and other items that farmers need to stay up-to-date.
Additionally, phone calls from farmers asking about prices were taking a lot of their staff’s time, negatively impacting their ability to get their other high-priority work done throughout the day.
Courson knew that technology could help. When he took on the general manager role, one of his first initiatives was updating technology around the cooperative. “You have to adapt to the market and stay ahead. It’s changing constantly. Once you get behind, it’s so expensive to catch up,” he said.
Forty less phone calls per day is what Delphos Coop has seen since implementing Bushel. But this doesn’t mean conversations stopped happening. Rather Bushel’s tools allow grain merchandisers to be proactive, better researched, calling farmers and having more intentional conversations about market timing and grain sales. “This has been one of the biggest moves to help our customers,” Courson said.
Delphos Coop sees about 36% of their farmers using their app – higher than the industry average of 25% app adoption. Courson said even the most tech-averse farmers who hesitated before downloading the app now remark how easy it is. The marketing kit that Bushel provided to help Delphos promote the app to farmers included flyers and brochures. Delphos Coop shared these at their locations to give farmers easy step-by-step instructions to log in and access their information.
They also recently launched the ability to set up digital payments between the farmer and the Coop, which streamlined their payment process and eliminated the need to send checks to out-of-state landlords. Those landlords will start seeing payment immediately rather than waiting 15 days for the check to arrive.
“Bushel has been a game-changer for us. It has allowed us to provide real-time pricing information to farmers through automated messages, eliminating the need for them to call and inquire about prices.”
– Brett Courson, general manager