We’ve all probably been in the situation where casually committing to an obligation is a short-term way to delay dealing with it. I can recall at least a few occasions where procrastination seemed like a good idea at the time.
But inevitably, there’s a lesson to be learned from delaying the inevitable and taking a more proactive approach is often a better course of action. It’s no secret that in recent years more dealerships — either by choice or by directive — are incorporating agronomic services into their businesses.
Those who have been receptive to adding prescriptive farming options to complement machinery and component sales, have gradually been able to gain traction with customers. In a recent podcast, two John Deere dealers shared their experiences adding in-house agronomists.
“Ten years down the road, I feel like I’m going to be on every single farm,” says Chance Pittman, advanced data analyst for Wade Inc., a 12 store Deere dealership. “I feel we’ll have at least double the agronomists we have, if not triple. I have a hard time believing if you’re not getting into variable-rate, getting into large data management, farms won’t last beyond that 15-20 year mark.”
But breaking into this business can still be a hard sell — at least initially. Some dealers admit that early entry into agronomic services was seen as more of a burden than a benefit.
One dealer says they basically “checked the box” to satisfy their OEM, with minimal expectation for how an in-house agronomist would promote understanding of equipment and its effect on agronomy. Gradually, the value began to bear itself out, primarily as an opportunity to more fully develop the dealership’s data management services.
“We’re showing customers real value with their yield, seeding and fertilizer maps and helping them understand how to better manage those sides of their operation,” the dealer says. “We’ve gone all in the last 2 years and have 3 agronomists now to cover our service area.”